Copyright action targets companies using illegal software in Oman
The latest copyright protection action by the Omani Ministry of National Heritage and Culture has come in the form of four searches conducted against companies using illegal software in Muscat. More than 86 PCs were found loaded with hundreds of unlicensed software including Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Office 97, Office 2000, Autodesk, AutoCad 14, AutoCad 2000 and Symantec Norton A.V.2000.
Illegal software cost the Omani economy more than 2.5 million Omani Riyals in the year 2000, funds that could have been used to develop investments, create jobs and promote cultural exchange in the Sultanate.
The Omani government has stepped up its action against illegal software, as part of its plan to promote the development of the IT sector in Oman. The Ministry of National Heritage and Culture, which is responsible for intellectual property protection in the Sultanate, has been conducting extensive enforcement action to curb the trade and use of illegal software throughout the country.
In addition to focusing on companies that are using unlicensed software, the Ministry has also been actively combating trade of illegal software, by investigating numerous resellers earlier this year, one of which lead to the deportation in April of two illegal software dealers.
The Omani copyright protection law (47/96) dictates penalties reaching the sum of 2000 riyals and a two year prison sentence. The government, in cooperation with the BSA, has been conducting awareness campaigns about software licensing, to educate companies about copyright laws and software licensing principles.
“The use of illegal software is a major deterrent for the economy,” added Al-Redha, “ illegal software is the single biggest threat that faces Information Technology in any market. No one will invest in a market where copyright is not protected, it discourages local entrepreneurs and international companies alike. If any country is to develop a viable IT industry, it has to fight illegal software efficiently and promote copyright awareness with the public.”
The Business Software Alliance is an international organization representing leading software and e-commerce developers in 65 countries around the world. Established in 1988, BSA has offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia. The BSA helps governments and consumers understand how software strengthens the economy, worker productivity, global development and how its further expansion hinges on the successful fight against software piracy and Internet theft. Some of BSA member are Adobe Systems, Apple Computer, Filemaker, Autodesk, Bentley Systems, CNC Software/Mastercam., Macromedia, Microsoft, Symantec and UGS. — (menareport.com)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)