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Oman hits back at software pirates

The Omani government has taken the toughest stance seen yet in the Middle East, when it deported two employees of a computer reseller dealing in pirated software in Bureimi.

The Omani government has set a new milestone in copyright protection in the Middle East: an order by the authorities in Muscat enjoined the deportation of two employees of a computer dealer who was selling illegal software in Bureimi.

“Oman is one of the most active and successful countries in fighting illegal software” said Jawad Al-Redha, regional director for the BSA.

“We are enthralled by their level of commitment and the preciseness of their action. Their commitment to protect software developers’ intellectual rights is setting new standards in the Middle East. By doing this, the Omani government is ensuring that the IT industry in the Sultanate will very soon meet world standards and play a major role in the Middle East’s technology marketplace,” he added.

The ruling was issued on April 22, following a raid on that reseller by the Omani Ministry of National Heritage and Culture and the Omani police, where more than 20,000 CDs containing counterfeit software were seized. The employees, two out of three working for the reseller were deported on April 22, 2001.

Earlier in the same month, the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, and the Omani police had raided the reseller in an action that lasted several hours and discovered that, in addition to using and selling illegal applications, the company was duplicating software in one of its employees’ apartments, which was organized in shelves to contain the large numbers of counterfeit CDs.

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