UAE authorities intensify campaign against users of pirated software in Abu Dhabi
As part of the wide-ranging anti-piracy campaign by the UAE authorities, three software companies in Abu Dhabi were raided recently, resulting in the arrest of one person on charges of IPR violation. Two computers operating on illegally copied Windows XP, Office XP 2003, and Norton Anti Virus - besides 15 pirated CDs - were confiscated in the raids.
The raids were carried out following a tip-off by the Arabian Anti-piracy Alliance (AAA) - with whom the UAE authorities work in close cooperation in their battle against piracy - about the suspected use of illegal software. The UAE authorities regularly conduct awareness campaigns targeted at distributors, companies and end users, with the aim to educate the public about the detrimental effects of using pirated software - such as poor PC performance and possible loss of valuable data due to corruption of the files.
Scott Butler, CEO, AAA, said, “The UAE Government has been strictly enforcing IPR laws, which call for stringent punishments to violators. These laws mandate companies and individuals to keep evidence of the authenticity of their software. AAA is working closely with the UAE's various government institutions, private sector companies and civil committees to ensure adherence to IPR, as it constitutes a major pillar of the national economy.”
“We acknowledge the seriousness with which the UAE authorities are dealing with attempted IPR violation, thereby helping curb the practice of illegal trading of pirated software. These positive measures have set an example for countries elsewhere in the region to follow. Although the UAE has the lowest piracy rate in the MENA region, we urge the country's authorities to vigorously continue their efforts in promoting the UAE as an exemplary digital economy on the world map,” Butler added.
According to the annual piracy report by Business Software Alliance (BSA), the international association established by the software industry to promote a safe and legal digital world, the UAE has maintained a piracy rate of just 34 per cent in the year 2004. This significantly low piracy level has prompted many multinational IT companies to increase investment in the UAE as well as to open their regional headquarters in the country.
"IPR laws form a critical element in boosting economic and social development in the region, as it contributes towards the creation of a safe and enabling environment which facilitates a thriving IT industry," Butler said. "Countries which are committed to protecting IPR and restricting software piracy boost their credibility on the international level, generate employment, attract more foreign investment and increase economic growth, besides accelerating the growth of the national IT industry.”