Series of raids across Beirut and suburbs target companies selling pirated products
The Lebanese authorities stepped up their efforts to protect Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) by intensifying their campaign against companies and individuals involved in trading pirated computer software, games and movies.
The High Tech and IP Crime Unit of the Special Criminal Investigation Department of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces, conducted a series of raids in Beirut, its suburbs and other regions, resulting in the confiscation of more than a 100,000 pirated CDs and DVDs loaded with pirated software, games and movies. This campaign is part of the efforts of the Lebanese authorities to crack down on Intellectual Property piracy and to reduce copyright theft.
The campaign is integral to the long term strategy adopted by the Lebanese government to protect intellectual property rights, in association with the Intellectual Property Industry in Lebanon including the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the foremost organization dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world and the voice of the world's commercial software industry and its hardware partners at various levels. BSA works closely with other IP enforcement authorities Lebanon including Customs and the Ministry of Economy & Trade’s Intellectual Property Protection Office.
Aly Harakeh, official spokesperson of the BSA in Lebanon said, “We commend the seriousness of the Lebanese government’s actions and the strict approach taken by its enforcement agencies to deter individuals and businesses from violating IP laws in Lebanon. The IP industry is looking forward to continued cooperation with the local enforcement authorities to eradicate piracy.”
The Lebanese government considers the intentional copying, selling, possessing and trading of copyrighted products, an illegal practice, punishable by law. Violators can face jail terms ranging from 1 month to 3 years with a cash fine of L.L 50 million, or one of the two. The punishment is doubled in case the offence is repeated.
The raids reflect the Lebanese government’s efforts to protect Intellectual property rights in Lebanon and reduce the economic losses and tarnished reputation suffered by the country due to piracy. The raids resulted is confiscating pirated materials with a street value of USD 3 million.
Harakeh praised the Lebanese enforcement authorities for their contribution in the fight against piracy, especially the General Directorate of Internal Security Forces, the Directorate of Customs and Ministry of Economy & Trade’s Intellectual Property Protection Office, which is an example for effective and efficient cooperation between the public and private sectors.
© 2006 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)