Since all but two private schools in the capital [of Jordan, Amman,] have stopped using pirated software, the National Library Department (NLD)  on Sunday said it will start a campaign next week to inspect private schools in the governorates.
“Last month, we launched a campaign to check on private schools in Amman. All of them currently use original software except for two that are in the final stages of replacing pirated software with originals,” NLD Director General Mohammad Abbadi told The Jordan Times.
“Our campaign in Amman was successful; the schools cooperated and understood the need to stop using pirated software, but the problem now is with private schools in the governorates,” he said.
Around 25 per cent of small- and medium-sized private schools in the country still use pirated software in their computer labs, and more than 90 per cent of these schools are located in the Kingdom’s governorates, Abbadi added.
“Our teams will be touring these schools soon during a campaign in cooperation with Microsoft. Private schools in the governorates suffer from difficult financial conditions, but this does not mean it is acceptable to use pirated software,” he noted.
“Microsoft showed readiness to take the financial situation of these schools into consideration and provide them with original software at discounted prices.”
Meanwhile, Abbadi noted that the NLD has referred more than 95 cases of intellectual property rights violations to court since the beginning of the year.
The Jordanian Copyright Law stipulates that it is a crime to download software, music or movies that are protected under the legislation.
Offenders face a prison sentence of between three months and three years and a fine ranging from JD1,000 to JD6,000.
Software piracy in Jordan rose by 1 per cent in 2011, but the rate was still among the lowest in the region, according to a study by the Business Software Alliance (BSA).
The Kingdom registered a 58 per cent software piracy rate in 2011, compared with 57 per cent in 2010 and 2009, according to the ninth annual BSA Global Software Piracy Study.