At the recent BSA (Business Software Alliance) Great Opportunity campaign, responses from UAE companies showed that the illegal use of software often comes from a lack of understanding of software licensing practices and of copyright laws according to the software industry association.
“We believe that not one company in the UAE wants to breach the law,” said the BSA’s regional director, Jawad Al-Redha. “We have been contacting companies extensively since the beginning of this campaign, in order to help them license their software on time, and we have found that most people never licensed their software because they were not aware of the full extent of copyright protection laws”
The ‘Great Opportunity’ campaign aims to give companies the chance to obtain the BSA’s assistance in legalizing their unlicensed software. The BSA has announced that during the period of November 17, 2001 to January 2, 2002, no raids or court actions against companies who are believed to be using illegal software will be conducted, to give everyone the chance to legalize their software.
Implementation of action will resume immediately after the end of the campaign, and all companies using unlicensed software will be taken to justice. The UAE copyright protection law dictates penalties reaching six months in prison or penalties of up to 50,000 Dirhams or both.
Almost invariably, every piece of original software is accompanied by a user agreement or license agreement to which the user is considered to have agreed, when he or she starts using the product. This license generally stipulates that every piece of software can be used only by one person on one computer, yet many people assume that by buying one original copy of software, they obtain the right to use it on as many computers as they want. This is a violation of the use agreement, it is also a breach of international copyright treaties and the UAE copyright law.
The illegal use and trade of software is the single biggest threat to the software industry worldwide, it takes away billions of dollars every year from the industry, leading to job losses and other negative impacts on the IT sector and the world economy as a whole. — (menareport.com)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )