Kuwaiti authorities raid two computer companies
The Kuwaiti authorities have intensified their campaign to protect the country's Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) laws, which seek to control the distribution and use of illegal software among individuals and companies. In this regard, the authorities recently conducted raids on two computer companies, resulting in the confiscation of 2 Hard Discs and 188 CDs loaded with pirated software, including Windows XP, Microsoft Office, Adobe and Norton Anti-Virus.
The campaign against software piracy is part of the larger effort by the Kuwaiti authorities to promote a safe digital environment to support the local software industry and to encourage global software developers to invest in the country. As part of this endeavor, the authorities have regularly been conducting awareness campaigns targeted at traders, distributors and end-users, which highlight the detrimental effects of using pirated software, such as poor PC performance, lack of reliability, data security compromised, reduced productivity as well as reduced IT investments.
Ibrahim AL Nooh, Assistant Under Secretary for Press and Journalism Affairs, Ministry of Information Kuwait, said: “the latest raids are a strong messages that the Kuwait Government is sending to the users and traders of pirated software. The raided companies have made direct breach of the Kuwait copyright laws by using illegal software and trading them. The Kuwait law calls on companies and users to provide proof of originality of the software they are using. These raids will ensure a convenient safe digital environment to attract the foreign investment and encourage intellectual creativity.”
Scott Butler CEO, Arabian Anti-piracy Alliance said: “The raids in Kuwait signal the significant step taken by the country towards protecting IPR laws and limiting the trade and use of pirated software. The campaign against software piracy is an ongoing process which requires education of the stakeholders and users and appropriate legal enforcement framework from the government authorities. The campaign has so far been successful as many governments are realising the positive impact the reduction of software piracy can have on the economic growth plans in the region. Blatant breach of IPR is a major obstacle in the face of economic growth in the region and around the world.”
The Arabian Antipiracy Alliance is working closely with the Kuwait Ministry of Information to protect the integrity of copyright laws. The AAA is also launching a series of awareness campaigns targeting end-users and companies to highlight the dangers of using pirated programmes, including low performance and loss of information and database.
“The Kuwait Ministry of Information is committed to protect IPR laws. We are exerting a lot of efforts to tackle this illegal practice. The raids play a major role in increasing awareness of computer users about the benefits of using orginal software as the Kuwaiti law prosecutes the end users as well as the traders of pirated software”, Al Nouh added.
“Companies and individuals must realise the importance of using original software to prevent legal and financial liabilities. The movement that is being conducted by the Kuwait Ministry of Information reflects the commitment of Kuwait authorities to limit the IPR law breaches across the country”, Butler added.
The latest report the BSA announced shows that reduction of piracy rates in Kuwait by 10 percentage points between 2006 and 2009 will result in increasing the IT industry growth from 68% to 75% and generate US$ 8.2 billion and create 667 additional job opportunities as well as realise additional US$ 357 million to the Kuwait GDP.
© 2006 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)