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UAE has lowest piracy rate in Arab World

Business Software alliance reveals 8th Annual Global Software Piracy Study

UAE has lowest piracy rate in Arab World
Jawad Al Redha, Business Software Alliance chair, Gulf Region says that the BSA will be strengthening its commitment to intensifying its anti-piracy and enforcement initiatives in the coming months.

The UAE has the lowest piracy rate in the Arab World, at 36% according to the Business Software Alliance's 8th Annual Global Software Piracy Study.

The UAE is the only Arab country listed in the top 30 countries with the lowest piracy rates worldwide. The countries with the lowest rates worldwide are Japan, Luxemburg and the USA, all at 20%.

The BSA announced that the Gulf countries in general have maintained a respectable track record of fighting piracy in the region, but said that more needs to be done to improve the piracy ratings of countries in the MEA region.

Overall piracy rates in MEA have reached 58%, according to the Study.

"While it is good to see that countries in the GCC have managed to prevent piracy levels from increasing through various proactive measures that have been implemented over the years, the BSA is committed to further intensifying its anti-piracy and enforcement initiatives over the coming months to control the spread of piracy and, most importantly, to reduce piracy levels in the region," said Jawad Al Redha, Business Software Alliance chair, Gulf Region.

The BSA will be working to further strengthen partnerships with key government and private sector organisations in the GCC region to raise awareness about software piracy issues.

The Global Software Piracy Study covered 116 countries, and revealed that 51 countries improved their piracy levels last year. Anti-piracy initiatives such as vendor-driven legalisation programmes, government-driven education programmes, enforcement actions and enterprise software legalisation initiatives have all cut down on piracy. Forty-eight countries maintained their piracy levels, while 12 countries saw their piracy levels increase.

The average worldwide piracy rate for 2010 stand at 42%, in MEA, the piracy rate was 58%.

The commercial value of pirated software in 2010 hit $58.8bn and the total loss in MEA was $4bn.

"Our continued cooperation with key government agencies as well as private sector organisations will be crucially important as we seek to further strengthen the reputation of different countries in the Arab World as leading advocates of the global anti-piracy campaign. The Five-Point Blueprint, for example, that BSA recently outlined and which seeks to increase public awareness and education, serves as a significant step forward towards achieving our ultimate goal of protecting our societies from the threat of piracy," said Al Redha.

The study was conducted by the BSA in collaboration with IDC and included a new public-opinion survey of PC users on key social attitudes and behaviours related to software piracy, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs.

The survey showed that respondents has strong respect for intellectual property rights with seven in 10 respondents expressing support for paying inventors for their creations to promote more technology advances.

Support for intellectual property rights was strongest in markets with high piracy rates.

Respondents also recognised that genuine software was better than pirated software because it is secure and more reliable; however, many PC users lack a clear understanding of whether common ways of acquiring software, such as buying a single programme license for multiple computers or downloading a programme from a peer-to-peer network, are likely to be legal or illegal.

"Microsoft, as a member of the BSA, is working to address the risks posed by counterfeit software, which can have a devastating impact on the livelihoods of consumers, the productivity of small businesses, and economies of countries," said Dale Waterman, corporate attorney for Anti-Piracy Microsoft in the Middle East and Africa, and also chairman of the BSA's Middle East and Africa Member Committee. "As methods to manufacture and sell counterfeit software are becoming more sophisticated, there is an urgent need for greater awareness of this critical problem. Unsuspecting consumers are at risk of downloading or purchasing counterfeit software that can expose victims to spyware, malware and viruses that can lead to identity theft, loss of data, and system failures," added Waterman.


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