Microsoft’s collaboration with Omani Government leads to arrest of IT reseller
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Proprietor fined OMR 2000, to spend 6 months in prison for selling PCs with counterfeit Microsoft software
Microsoft has announced the conviction of an IT reseller caught selling PCs loaded with unlicensed MS Office 2007 and Windows XP software. Microsoft had earlier initiated a raid against the reseller in collaboration with Omani authorities in its capacity as a member of the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the international association established by the software industry to promote a safe and legal digital world. The accused will pay OMR 2000 as compensation to Microsoft and has been sentenced to six months imprisonment.
The sentence was imposed on March 2, 2008, basing on article number 23/1 of Oman Intellectual Property Rights law number 37/2000 (case number 731/Q/2007 for the prosecution and case number 1209/2007 for the court). The case was brought before an Omani court on January 27, 2008, where the enforcement team of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry provided testimony on the details of their raid against the reseller store; the raid resulted in the confiscation of numerous counterfeit software as well. The judge postponed the hearing to March 2, where the final sentence was handed down.
Jawad Al Redha, IPR Manager, Microsoft Gulf, said “As one of the leading players in the global IT community, it is Microsoft's role to help its partners in the government fight criminal activities such as software piracy and other intellectual property rights violations. We are pleased with the results of our collaboration with our counterparts in Oman and witnessed the improved anti-piracy performance so as to enjoy the enormous economic benefits of a piracy-free society."
The recent raid was part of an ongoing campaign by Microsoft in Oman to remove unlicensed installations of Microsoft programs in various personal computers. Oman has likewise intensified its drive against piracy and has successfully reduced its piracy rate; a significant achievement considering how the country's IT market has expanded exponentially over the same period.
The complaint was also one of several other similar initiatives spearheaded by Microsoft in other Gulf countries, in collaboration with BSA and various government authorities, as it has intensified its regional campaign against piracy.
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