Piracy 'biggest single threat' to IT industry
A leading organization of major software publishers revealed in a recent seminar that two million sites on the Internet have pirated content. The Dubai-based Business Software Alliance (BSA), which convened a seminar on Wednesday for public security personnel in Jordan and other Arab sates, disclosed that 90 percent of software sold via the web is pirated.
“Internet piracy is perceived as the biggest single threat to the information technology industry,” Simon Swale, anti-piracy manager of Microsoft Middle East and North Africa, told the Jordan Times.
“The threat of Internet piracy and computer crime is one that just does not affect the software industry only, but the whole business because it will be an inhibitor to the use of Internet business,” he stressed.
Swale said Internet piracy would be a major concern in the future, when bandwidth increases. Files could be downloaded much quicker, and the telecomm market becomes deregulated. “Today, we have a problem with pirates who are using the Internet for criminal purposes. They place their servers in regions that have no copyright laws,” he stressed. “The data may be held on servers where there is no opportunity to enforce the law.”
He added that BSA member companies in different countries are putting a lot of effort and collateral into establishing the appropriate legislation.
During the one-day seminar, which discussed IPR legislation and international treaties, experts said a sustained effort is needed to ensure enforcement of legislation, key to lure foreign investments.
Since Jordan acceded to the World Trade Organization in late 1999, software piracy has gone down from 90 percent to 70 percent. In the past, much software, audiovisual and pharmaceutical concerns thrived on piracy.
Jeffrey Steinhardt, vice president of the Business Software Alliance, said Jordan has done a lot in the past 18 months in copyright enforcement, but a sustained effort is needed to apply the laws through combined programs of awareness and education. — ( Jordan Times )
By Suha Ma'ayeh
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)