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UAE cracks down on software pirates

Microsoft and the Ministry of Economy act on reports of pirated software being sold in local computer stores.

Microsoft, a member of the Business Software Alliance, and the UAE Ministry of Economy collaborated to tackle reports of pirated software being sold in local computer stores.

The successful anti-piracy raids led to five arrests in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and the confiscation of 122 CDs and five hard disks that mostly contained pirated Microsoft software.

Four Abu Dhabi salesmen and one Dubai reseller were charged under Federal Law No. 7 for 2002, concerning copyrights and neighboring rights.

“The Ministry of Economy is leading the way in addressing IPR violations, particularly software piracy. Given the rapid rise of the UAE’s IT sector and its huge influence on economic progress, extra effort must be exerted to prevent criminal activities from compromising this growth industry’s sustained development. We commit to further strengthening our collaboration with the BSA and its members in combating this social and economic threat,” said Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz Alshihhi, MoE Undersecretary.

“These were very successful raids which affirmed the presence of various threats to the UAE’s growing software markets. We thank the UAE Ministry of Economy for supporting the BSA and its members in their efforts; this latest initiative reflects the UAE Government’s strong stance against intellectual property rights violations, particularly against the software trade which is an integral part of the fast-growing Middle Eastern IT sector,” said Jawad Al Redha, co-chairman of the Business Software Alliance in the Middle East.

According to the BSA, thirty five percent of the world's software is pirated. The recent BSA member-initiated effort is part of a broader ongoing campaign to remove unlicensed software programs in the UAE.

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