Jawad Al Redha, Business Software Alliance Chair, Gulf Region
The Business Software Alliance (BSA), the world’s foremost advocate for the software industry, has announced that it collaborated with the Lebanese Ministry of Economy and Trade to host the 6th annual Pan Arab Intellectual Property Rights Forum from April 26 to 27, 2011 in Beirut, Lebanon to tackle software piracy and cybercrimes issues in the region.
The Forum was attended by representatives from prominent international organisations, in addition to delegates from all the Arab countries. Topics being discussed included challenges of protecting Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), generating greater awareness about IPR protection and the role of the government in IPR protection. The two-day forum also facilitated the exchange of experiences and best practices in the protection of intellectual property rights in different countries of the region. Examples of successful consumer, business awareness and education programs were also presented during the forum.
Salwa Faour, Director of the Intellectual Property Protection Office, in Lebanon’s Ministry of Economy and Trade, said, “Strong intellectual property protection is critical to the software industry and the regional economy as a whole. It is imperative that the governments and the software industry work closely together to come up with several high-impact measures to tackle software piracy and ensure that the economy does not lose valuable revenue. We believe that this IPR forum will once again serve as an important platform to discuss various pertinent issues related to IPR protection and how the government, industry and consumers can play a crucial role in safeguarding intellectual property.”
“Regional events like these in which all the stakeholders collaborate and share their experiences are invaluable as we look to reduce software piracy across the Arab region,” said Dale Waterman, Microsoft’s Corporate Attorney for Anti-Piracy for the Middle East and Africa. “Our view at Microsoft is that education, engineering efforts, and effective enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights, all play a crucial role in reducing software counterfeiting. In countries which have seen a reduction in their software counterfeiting rates, key success factors have included Intellectual Property Rights legislation compliant with international standards, industry and law enforcement cooperation and broad awareness through education campaigns.”
Jawad Al Redha, Business Software Alliance Chair, Gulf Region, said, “Today it is no longer enough if we protect intellectual property, we need to also recognise intellectual property as a job creator and valuable component of our regional economy. Through these annual IPR forums, we aim to identify new ways of effectively protecting IPR with the participation and concerted efforts of all parties concerned. While the region is seeing rapidly growing technological adoption and internet penetration, which is contributing to overall economic growth, we need to ensure that this growth is not compromised through software piracy.”