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UAE Police conduct anti-piracy raid

UAE police seized 81 CDs of pirated software and two PCs from a computer trader in Sharjah in the country’s first antipiracy raid of 2004.

UAE police seized 81 CDs of pirated software and two PCs from a computer trader in Sharjah in the country’s first antipiracy raid of 2004.

The reseller had a history of downloading pirated software on PCs intended for sale. The CDs containing pirated copies of Windows XP, Office XP, Office 2000 and Windows 98.

“These raids reflect the continued commitment on the part of the UAE authorities to protect Intellectual property Rights (IPR) in the country. With the concerted efforts of the Ministry of Information, the police and the Arabian Antipiracy Alliance (AAA), public opinion has shifted in favour of protection of IPR. The tremendous fall in piracy rates is well-documented by now,” says Scott Butler, CEO of AAA. “However, there are cases of individual resellers that cannot resist the temptation to make a fast buck through the use of pirated software,” he adds.

“There are three factors crucial to the eradication of piracy in the Middle East. The governments have continually demonstrated their commitment to IPR through the promulgation of stringent anti-piracy legislations and the willingness to implement these effectively,” explains Butler. “The users are also becoming increasingly aware of the advantages of using original licensed software. They are aware that counterfeit software is often of lower quality. Users of illegal software lose the opportunity to take advantage of warranties, customer support and other benefits that come with legitimate products. As a result, a majority of users are now demanding original software in the PCs they buy,” he adds.

Despite some countries in the Middle East clamping down on pirated software users, the region remains one of the world’s piracy hotspots, according to the Business Software Alliance (BSA). Most of the world’s illegal software stems from Asia.

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