Dubai, Asharq Al-Awsat-Business Software Alliance (BSA), has resolved to intensify its campaign against software piracy in the Middle East in coming months, in collaboration with regional governments committed to providing a momentum to the IT industry.
The announcement came during BSA’s Annual Members’ Meeting, which is traditionally held alongside the opening of GITEX Dubai, the region’s largest IT trade show. In view of the regional and global players attending the prestigious exhibition, the meeting concluded to convey the key message of using only legal software at workplace as well as in homes. Once again, BSA would be acting as the piracy watchdog by monitoring all products at Computer Shopper, the consumer segment of GITEX, and taking instant action against violators.
“Awareness about Intellectual Property Rights has been growing in many countries in the region. We would like to particularly single out the UAE as a model state that drastically reduced software piracy through combined efforts between the Ministry of Information, the police and through implementation of legislation,” said Jawad Al Redha, Co-Chairman, BSA Middle East. “The UAE has been rewarded by the international IT industry through increased investment that has helped it become the most powerful IT hub in the region.”
“We have witnessed a lot of progress in the region to encourage the use of original software and curb down software piracy rates. However, we need to reinforce our efforts as piracy still persists in most countries of the region. It is therefore critical to devise more effective campaigns and maintain stronger vigilance with the support of governments and enforcement authorities,” Al Redha added.
The meeting decided to implement more vigorous programmes to raise awareness about Intellectual Property Rights among trade bodies, end users and the general public in the region. Members noted that there had been a significant drop in piracy levels in most countries, but cautioned that complacency could encourage software pirates to step up their activities.
The members noted that anti piracy raids in different countries have contributed significantly in bringing down piracy levels in some countries in the Middle East. Further, the passing of IPR laws prescribing stiff penalties to violators has yielded positive results. It was resolved to work towards getting IPR laws passed in more countries in the region.
The BSA stand at GITEX Shopper has been redesigned to convey clear messages and attract more visitors. It will be manned by trained staff who will answer all the visitors’ inquiries. The highlight will be the popular Online Quiz conducted at the venue, instant giveaway gifts and three grand prizes at the end of SHOPPER 2005. The BSA posters at Computer Shopper will be more positive, more creative, and carry direct messages targeting visitors of all ages.