BSA and ITIDA hold first Regional Workshop on cyber crime and IPR in Egypt
Business Software Alliance (BSA), the international association established by the software industry to promote a safe and legal digital world, in collaboration with Egypt's Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), held the first Regional Workshop on cyber crime and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) at the SMART Village in Egypt, which concluded on September 12, 2007.
BSA considers the event a significant collaborative effort to protect the region's economy, in light of a prediction by market intelligence firm IDC that the Middle East will suffer up to USD 180 billion in losses during the next four years as a result of software piracy, a major form of cyber crime. Key stakeholders in the region's IT industry attended the three-day event, which had seminars, panel discussions and technical trainings conducted by various experts in cyber law, IT security and other relevant areas.
"The Regional Workshop was a critical step towards eliminating cyber crime in the region, as the initiative will help to standardize the efforts and processes of all regional players in dealing with cyber crime and IPR issues, facilitating smoother inter-agency cooperation and boosting results. Being an agency established to support the growth of e-services in Egypt, ITIDA is committed to initiatives such as this that help enhance the development of the IT industry. ITIDA is dedicating a significant portion of our resources to combating cyber crime as this criminal activity has been one of the biggest obstacles to realizing our full economic potential," said Mohamed Hegazy, Manager, Intellectual Property Office, ITIDA, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
Cyber crimes can be simply defined as unlawful acts wherein the computer is a target, a tool or both. Aside from piracy, other cyber crimes include credit card fraud, cyber pornography, online sale of illegal articles such as drugs, weapons and endangered wildlife, online gambling, IPR violations, email spoofing, forgery using computer scanners and printers, cyber defamation and even cyber stalking.
IPR crimes, particularly software piracy, are incredibly costly, especially in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), which was one of only two geographical regions that saw an increase in the piracy rate from 2005-2006. The MEA region had a 60 percent piracy rate in 2006, up three percentage points from 2005, corresponding to USD 1.997 billion in losses in 2006 from USD 1.615 billion in 2005. However, the IT industry’s significant growth during the same period enhanced the potential for increased piracy.
"The IT industry has increased exponentially and continues to create new growth prospects. But it is also no secret that this robust performance has opened opportunities for illegal trade, whose negative economic impact can be felt in terms of lost tax revenues, job layoffs and compromised business operations because of unreliable counterfeit software," said Jawad Al Redha, BSA Co-Chairman in the Middle East.
"Everyone is affected by this illegal activity regardless of where these criminals operate. For instance, a piracy gang may hold base in one country but exports thousands of its counterfeit products to dozens of other countries. It is therefore essential for all of us to show a united front against this alarming criminal activity through collaborative efforts such as the Regional Workshop on Cyber Crime and Intellectual Piracy Rights. I also take this opportunity to thank ITIDA for its unwavering support to our anti-piracy campaign," concluded Al Redha.
The Business Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the foremost organization dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world. BSA is the voice of the world's commercial software industry and its hardware partners before governments and in the international marketplace BSA helps governments and consumers understand how software strengthens the economy, worker productivity and global development and how its further expansion hinges on the successful fight against software piracy and Internet theft. BSA programs foster technology innovation through education and policy initiatives that promote copyright protection, cyber security, trade and e-commerce.
BSA members include: 4D, Adobe, Agfa-Monotype, Apple, Autodesk, Avid, Bentley Systems, Borland, BVRP Software, Centennial, Cisco Systems, CNC Software/Mastercam, Grupo SP, Entrust, HiT Internet Technologies, HP, IBM, iInventory, Intel, Intergraph, Internet Security Systems, Intuit, LMS International, Macromedia, Magix, Mamut, McAfee, Microsoft, Microstar, Nemetschek, O&O Software, OWG, Panda Software, Realviz, RSA Security, SIA, SolidWorks, Staff & Line, Sybase, Symantec, TeamSystem, Trend Micro, UGS PLM Solutions, VERITAS Software, Visma, WRQ.