Kuwait Ministry of Commerce & Industry to launch anti-piracy campaign

Kuwait Ministry and Business Software Alliance to launch campaign to tackle high software piracy rate

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By  Mark Sutton Published  June 22, 2008

The Kuwait Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Business Software Alliance (BSA) are set to launch a major anti-piracy campaign in Kuwait, aimed at tackling the country's high software piracy rate.

Kuwait has the worst rate of piracy in the GCC, standing at 62% according to the Fifth Annual BSA and IDC Global Software Piracy Study.

The two parties, with support from BSA members companies such as Autodesk, have signed an MOU to formalize the campaign, which will include advertising to promote the benefits of legitimate software.

HE Sheikha Rasha Al-Sabah, Intellectual Property Rights Manager, Kuwait said: "Our partnership with BSA is an important step towards achieving a piracy-free software market in Kuwait, which will not only generate significant financial gains for us, but more importantly fuel our country's growth in the information technology front. An extensive advertising and media campaign will generate awareness regarding existing anti-piracy program and the benefits of totally curtailing this practice, and we wish to thank global software enterprises such as Autodesk for their unwavering support for this cause."

According to IDC figures, a 10% drop in piracy rates in Kuwait would give a $350 million boost to the Kuwaiti economy, through improved revenues in the local IT industry and taxes.

Jawad Al Redha, Co-Chairman, BSA Middle East commented: "As the representative of one of the fastest growing industries in the world, our focus is to foster technology innovation through education and policy initiatives that promote copyright protection, cyber security, trade and eCommerce. However, the challenges posed by massive software piracy are impeding the progress of this sector. Our agreement with the Kuwait Government is aimed at protecting the intellectual property of our member companies and driving the overall growth of the entire software industry towards the development of new business-critical software and applications."

Asdaf Al Khalidi, License Compliance Executive at Autodesk said that it is local third party development partners for companies like Autodesk that suffer the most from piracy.

"The unlicensed usage of software poses considerable threat not only to the global software market and the players who are investing time, money, and creativity in their products, but to the user himself as counterfeit programs also destroy computer units and cause data loss. We commend the exemplary efforts of the Kuwaiti Government, H.E. Sheikha Rasha Al-Sabah, and BSA in stopping this illegitimate practice, and they can expect Autodesk's utmost support for the success of this campaign," he said.

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