Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

UAE authorities intensify campaign against software piracy | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Dubai- The UAE authorities have stepped up efforts to protect Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) by intensifying its campaign against software piracy. The Sharjah Police in a recent raid seized 3 PCs operating on pirated Windows XP, Office XP 2003 and Norton Anti-Virus, besides over 500 CDs, from two companies in the emirate and detained four persons in connection with the case.

The raid, which was conducted in coordination with the Arabian Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAA), was part of a larger initiative involving government departments and private companies to maintain the low rate of software piracy achieved by the UAE.

Scott Butler, CEO of AAA, said: &#34We would like to applaud the UAE authorities for their sustained battle to curb the menace of software piracy. The stringent actions being taken by the local authorities against manufacturers and users of pirated software will serve to reassure global companies who have set up facilities in the UAE to manage their Middle East operations. This serves to boost the confidence of international businesses in the UAE”s ability to effectively keep piracy under check, and will help attract further investment to the country. We call upon other Arab countries to adopt the successful measures taken by the UAE, in order to accelerate the transformation to a digital society.&#34

The AAA organizes a host of awareness campaigns for retailers, distributers as well as end-users like government departments, private companies and individuals. The campaigns focus on the benefits of using legal software, such as protection of IT investments, high performance of computing systems and protection of important data, besides technical support services and upgradation of the original software.

On the other hand, international software manufacturers have been giving price benefits to countries that record low piracy rates and are increasing investment in such countries, benefiting end-users as well as national economies. A proliferation of the use of pirated software results in considerable losses for manufacturers and distributors, brings down job vacancies and forces companies to reduce their investments, especially on research and development.

&#34Software piracy is considered to be a key obstacle for business growth around the world, leading to economic stagnation. In the trend to follow the free trade policy, protecting Intellectual Property Rights and promoting the development and use of legal software have become critical to the integration of the global economic system and to support local and regional development plans, as well as to provide an ideal environment that encourages developers towards more technological innovations,&#34 Butler concluded.