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UAE Ministry of Economy keeping tabs of software piracy

Ministry has been visiting companies to spread anti-piracy message

UAE Ministry of Economy keeping tabs of software piracy
Combating software piracy is essential to drive economic growth, says Al Shihi.

The UAE Ministry of Economy reports that is has recently visited a number of companies in the country to ensure compliance with anti-software piracy laws.

The Ministry says that it visited an undisclosed number of companies, to check they were using legitimate software, and to reinforce awareness of intellectual property rights (IPR) legislation. Under the UAE Federal Law No.7 of 2002, management of organizations that use illegal software can face criminal prosecution.

The UAE has the lowest piracy rate in the Gulf region, at 37%, according to Business Software Alliance figures, in comparison to an average of 58% of the Middle East and Africa region overall.

HE Mohammed Al Shihi, Undersecretary, UAE Ministry of Economy, said: "It is very important to continue to step up our anti-piracy efforts as this is crucial in sustaining the growth of the national economy. The Ministry is keen to increase awareness among companies and individuals about software piracy, the consequences of using unlicensed software and the benefits of always purchasing genuine products. We are therefore constantly in touch with our allies to develop strategies that allow us to achieve our goals. Our collaboration has generated very positive results as we have previously conducted raids against piracy syndicates and businesses that continue to use pirated and unlicensed software."

Al Shihi said that the Ministry collaborates with the Arabian Anti-Piracy Alliance, the Business Software Alliance as well as other economic departments and authorities in the UAE to combat software piracy, to promote confidence in the local market and spur economic development in the Emirates.

Ola Khudair, executive vice president of the Arabian Anti-Piracy Alliance said: "We commend the Ministry of Economy for taking the lead in efforts to limit companies' use of pirated software. The authorities should also act proactively in dealing with all kinds of piracy, which will reflect positively on stakeholders, who benefit from mutual cooperation. Copyright protection is essential for achieving sustainable economic growth and social development. Government efforts are a positive step towards achieving further development in the UAE, and the Arabian Anti-Piracy Alliance will continue its efforts to reduce piracy in the UAE by intensifying awareness campaigns and initiatives aimed at protecting intellectual property rights."

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