Microsoft turns up the heat on channel

Two more resellers caught selling pirated software in the UAE

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  March 10, 2009

Microsoft is showing no let-up in its bid to clamp down on piracy in the channel after raids on two UAE resellers netted a haul of illegally-loaded software.

The vendor says it confiscated desktop PCs installed with pirated Windows and Office software, as well as 62 counterfeit CDs, during strikes against the unnamed pair.

The latest offensive comes less than a fortnight after UAE resellers A4M Trading and Al Istath Computers reached out-of-court settlements with Microsoft. Both companies have vowed to promote legitimate software in future having been reprimanded for selling non-genuine versions of Microsoft products.

The Business Software Alliance (BSA), which works alongside Microsoft in plotting the raids, is determined to maintain its anti-piracy crusade, particularly as it has the backing of the UAE Ministry of Economy.

“Sustained measures to tackle software piracy are vital to intellectual property rights and the interests of the country’s IT sector as a whole,” declared Jawad Al Redha, co-chairman for the BSA in the Gulf region.

While the BSA has been vocal in announcing the outcome of raids on the UAE channel, the country actually has the lowest piracy rate of all the GCC nations. According to a BSA study published last year, the piracy rate in the UAE has remained at between 34% and 35% for the last five years. In contrast, Saudi Arabia is said to have a 51% piracy rate, while in Kuwait the figure stands at more than 62%.

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