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Omani authorities hit eleven in anti-piracy raids

Eleven companies have been targeted by raids to stamp out the trade and use of counterfeit software in Oman.

Omani authorities have hit software pirates in the Sultanate, with eleven simultaneous raids carried out against illegal software vendors and users. Five companies using counterfeit software, and six resellers were targeted by the Omani Ministry of National Heritage & Culture, which resulted in the confiscation of 161 PCs.

The raid found both PCs and CDs containing illegally copied software, including products from Microsoft, Lotus, Symantec, Norton and Autodesk. The companies were operating in engineering, trading and consultancy.

The raids are just the latest in a series of actions against software piracy in Oman. An estimated $42 million has been lost in the Sultanate through piracy over the past six years, where the Ministry of National Heritage & Culture has attempted to crack down on the problem. A number of raids have already been carried out this year, many in the Bureimi area, where illegal software has been sold openly in the past. In some cases, those found guilty of trading in pirate software have been deported from Oman.

“Companies and resellers should realise that the copyright law is as strict as any other law. It is illegal in Oman to use unlicensed software copies or to sell them, and we are doing our best to let everyone know that,” said Jawad Al-Redha, Middle East director of the Business Software Alliance. “Software developers have the right to earn revenue as a result of their investments in time and resources, so it is normal that companies and end users pay for their software, just like they pay for anything else.”

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