King Abdullah awarded for combating software piracy
Jordan's King Abdullah II on Tuesday received a special award from the Business Software Alliance (BSA) for his efforts to enforce intellectual property rights and combat software piracy.
He became the second world figure to receive the award this year following Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern who was recognized by the BSA for his efforts in Europe, according to the international organization.
Jordan and the United Arab Emirates are considered to be among the best performing countries in the Middle East for pushing ahead with legislation to enforce intellectual property rights and clamp down on software piracy.
In 1999 Jordan's parliament endorsed a series of amendments to the country's 1992 copyright law and passed trademark and other intellectual property laws to align the country with the Trade Related Intellectual Property Standards (TRIPS). In 2000 a new patent law was passed to meet the norms of TRIPS.
These moves, encouraged by Abdullah, were instrumental in giving Jordan formal access to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2000 and later helped it to secure a free trade agreement with the United States.
Abdullah who came to the throne exactly two years ago in February 1999 on the death of his father, King Hussein, has championed measures to push Jordan into the 21st century.
According to the BSA the use of illegal software costs more than $11.4 billion annually with Europe alone accounting for $2.8 billion.
The Middle East has, at 65 percent, the second highest regional piracy rate, despite a 9 percent decline since 1996. — (AFP, Amman)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)