Microsoft Gulf, in collaboration with Qatar Ministry of Economy and Commerce, has announced that it has recently conducted a raid against IT resellers that sold counterfeit Microsoft software in Qatar. 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, Microsoft collaborated with Qatar enforcement agents to track down and raid two firms that were conducting the illegal activities.
Products Seized from the Companies included a personal computer loaded with Windows OS and a USB HDD used for installing pirated software; in addition to a PC loaded with pirated Windows OS.
"The close collaboration involving the Qatar Ministry of Economy and Commerce, Microsoft and BSA is an excellent example of how efforts between the public and private sector can lead to an effective reduction in illegal software trade. Moreover, this successful initiative forms part of the several collaborative efforts that will be implemented under the memorandum of understanding signed recently by BSA and the Ministry," said Jawad Al Redha, BSA Co-Chairman in the Middle East.
"BSA is always ready to help the Qatari Government improve its international reputation in the field of information technology, which will be a key step towards optimising the country's full economic potential in the rapidly growing IT sector. Additionally, having a safe and legal digital environment is a sure way to attract international investors to Qatar, opening new revenue channels and boosting the country's economy," added Al Redha.
As one of the top performing regional country's in the fight against piracy, Qatar has managed to post a significant two per cent drop in its piracy rate in 2006, which has delivered considerable economic impact in view of the enormous growth of its IT sector. In a recent Madar Research report, Qatar's IT infrastructure was recognised as the best in the Middle East based on the World Bank Knowledge Economy Index.
To further enhance Qatar's capacity to fight piracy, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce has recently signed a memorandum of agreement with BSA that calls for close collaboration between the two parties for tougher enforcement of intellectual property laws.
The joint operation was among several anti-piracy raids initiated by Microsoft, in cooperation with BSA and various government authorities all over the Gulf. The series of raids are part of Microsoft's intensified strategy against software piracy in the GCC, as it considers the region as one of its most important high-growth markets.