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Eight arrested in piracy raids

Authorities in the UAE have continued their crackdown on illegal software.

Raids on UAE IT resellers have led to the arrest of eight people, as the government continues its crackdown on software piracy.

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) said on Tuesday raid searches of three resellers’ premises in Dubai resulted in three arrests and the confiscation of four PCs and 118 CDs containing pirated software.

Raids in Abu Dhabi led to four arrests and the seizure of three PCs and 84 CDs loaded with pirated software, the BSA said.

“These anti-piracy raids complement the country's long term vision of economic growth,” said Jawad Al Redha, co-chairman of BSA Middle East. “We highly appreciate the efforts of the UAE authorities for their sustained battle to control software piracy, which has affirmed their commitment to create a digital economy in the country.”

Juma Al Leem, director of Dubai Government’s censorship department, added: “Unless stringent measures are adopted on an ongoing basis piracy cannot be curbed in an effective way and the authorities in the UAE have ensured that they are constantly keeping a check on offenders.”

The arrests and seizures come a week after US software giant Microsoft announced it had reached an out-of-court settlement with UAE reseller Sun Rose Computer after authorities confiscated illegal software from the store.

Microsoft reached a similar agreement earlier this year with reseller Royal Focus Trading, after it was also found to be in possession of pirated software.

In 2005 around 34% of software used in the UAE was pirated, according to research group IDC. The UAE had the lowest piracy rate of any other country in the Middle East and the 17th lowest in the world.

Lebanon and Egypt, two countries with among the worst piracy rates in the region, currently sit on the US government's piracy watchlist for failing to stop the piracy of copyrighted material such as software.

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