BSA conducts anti-piracy training for Kuwait Ministry
Ministry of Commerce & Industry inspectors trained on anti software piracy enforcement
The Business Software Alliance (BSA) last month carried out a series of training sessions with the Kuwait Ministry of Commerce and Industry, focused on anti software piracy for the Ministry's inspectors.
The sessions focused on education, awareness and enforcement strategies to combat software piracy and its negative effects.
Kuwaiti authorities are looking at various ways of improving anti-piracy activities, following the February 2010 special report by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), which recommended Kuwait should remain on the anti-piracy watch list. The Special 301 Report said that business software end-user piracy cost an estimated $39 million in Kuwait in 2009, with a 59% piracy level, but while improved co-operation between ministries was tackling the problem, court enforcement was "the weak link in the enforcement chain, and the Law is clearly deficient".
The report said that while many cases were investigated and pursued through the courts, the lack of mandatory minimum sentences, and low maximum fines (KD500 or $1,735), meant no serious consequences for pirates that were caught. The report called for tougher mandatory penalties, and uniform enforcement of laws.
"Although Kuwait has managed to reduce its software piracy rate over the past three years, there is still much work to be done to ensure the protection of legitimate software businesses and vendors. We plan to adopt a multi-pronged approach which combines education and enforcement to ensure that the piracy issue is addressed in a comprehensive and sustainable manner. Our partnership with Business Software Alliance is a major step towards this direction," said Sheikha Rasha Naif Al Jaber Al Ahmad Al-Sabah, director of IPR at the Kuwait Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
"Two major problems being faced by Kuwait's software sector are the loading of unlicensed software on PCs and the sale of pirated copies in the retail markets. We intend to assist the Ministry's inspectors as they endeavor to maximize their anti-piracy enforcement capabilities," added Jawad Al Redha, BSA Chair, Gulf Region.