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Yemen pushes anti-piracy

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Yemen, has finally cautioned its trade and end-users against using pirated software, as part of the country’s drive to strengthen the campaign for the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) in the country.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Yemen, has finally cautioned its trade and end-users against using pirated software, as part of the country’s drive to strengthen the campaign for the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) in the country.

H.E. Ali Abdulla Saleh, the President of Yemen, has called for an intensification of efforts to avoid pirated software and protect IPRs, with the larger objective of bringing benefits to the national economy and enhancing Yemen’s reputation in the Middle East.

“Yemen is committed to developing a legitimate and flourishing software industry, one that will generate high quality jobs for the Yemeni people in the IT sector. We believe the first essential requirement for achieving this goal is to offer full protection to intellectual property rights,” says Abdulla Ali Noaman, director general of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Yemen.

“End-users have a duty to stop using illegally copied software because this amounts to robbing the developers of their rightful share of revenues and profits. On the other hand, use of pirated software has a negative impact on the national economy because it restricts the development of new software, depriving users of new solutions in the market,” adds Noaman.

The campaign follows extensive talks with high Yemeni officials over the past few months to work out strategies to uphold the intellectual property rights in Yemen. Business Software Alliance organised a number of activities, including road shows and training sessions for government personnel, businessmen and students on the benefits of IPR. This has paved the way for Yemeni Government in setting guidelines and implementing an effective action plan.

The aggressive anti-piracy moves have high significance when viewed in conjunction with the recent plan announced by the President of Yemen to set up a technology city for telecommunications and information in Yemen. The country’s 2001-2025 strategy is to adopt constructive policies, use and employ new technology, create a world-class infrastructure, nurture a pool of IT professional and narrow the digital divide.

The Middle East is currently harbouring pirated software worth around $899 million. Lebanon currently has the highest rate in the Middle East, 74%, with the UAE with the lowest rate of 34%, according to recent BSA statistics.

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