Dubai, Asharq Al-Awsat- The UAE authorities have announced stepping up of efforts to bring down software piracy levels in the country by reinforcing their association with Business Software Alliance (BSA), the organization dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world, with a view to effectively safeguard the integrity of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).
The proposed measures include organizing more awareness campaigns to create better understanding of the detrimental impact of software piracy, and ensuring rigorous enforcement of IPR and copyright laws. The move comes just weeks ahead of the release of the annual worldwide piracy figures by IDC (International Data Corporation), the IT industry’s leading global market research and forecasting firm.
“Looking at the most developed and progressive economies in the world, one can find that they all have creditable records in keeping piracy under check and that stringent enforcement of IPR laws has been a major contributing factor to the success they have achieved. For UAE to achieve similar global profile it is essential that it steps up its drive against piracy, especially in light of the globalization efforts and the country’s accession to the WTO regime,” said Juma Al Leem, Director of Censorship Department in Dubai.
“In addition to joining hands with BSA in organizing awareness programs, we will also work closely with the various governmental and security bodies in the UAE to regulate and organise the trade of the intellectual and artistic products. Software piracy is a crime and violators will be criminally charged according to the UAE copyright law number 7 enacted in the year 2002,” Al Leem added.
Jawadh Al Redha, Co-Chairman, BSA-Middle East, said, “It goes to the credit of the UAE authorities that even amidst the country’s recent economic boom and the widespread adoption of IT solutions, they were able to keep piracy levels admirably low. BSA has been working at various levels to safeguard the integrity of IPR laws in the UAE, and we are resolved to step up the anti-piracy drive in close cooperation with the various public and private sector bodies in the UAE.”
The UAE has consistently maintained the lowest piracy level in the Middle East by tackling the piracy problem head-on. The UAE is the only country in the Arab world and one of just two Asian nations, the other being Japan, to merit a place in the list of 20 global nations with the lowest piracy rates.
“While the increasingly sophisticated methods employed in copying software admittedly pose a challenge to our efforts, we are confident of overcoming these obstacles through coordinated efforts with the UAE authorities. The fight against piracy is an ongoing process, and while the UAE already boasts the lowest piracy rate in the region, we will continue to strive towards bringing piracy levels further down,” Al Redha concluded.