The Jordanian police raided Thursday, May 3, a software reseller in Amman for using and trading with illegal software copies. The reseller was suspected of trading in copied software and counterfeit CDs containing Microsoft software were found in his offices.
“Combating illegal software is critical to the success of Jordan’s new and dynamic agenda to develop the IT sector,” commented Jawad Al-Redha, regional director of the Business Software Alliance (BSA).
Oman's Ministry of National Heritage and Culture has conducted seven raids on companies in Ruwi in a single day, and confiscated over 70 computers found loaded with unlicensed software.The companies, all professional services organizations, face prosecution in addition to the loss of their computer hardware.
"This has been the most concerted effort to date targeting end users, companies that are using illegal software in their businesses, in Oman," said Al-Redha. "The Ministry targeted different parts of Muscat, and visited companies that were known to be using illegal software. All of these companies have been warned repeatedly that they need to legalize their software."
The raid saw the seizure of 72 personal computers, as well as some 244 illegal copies of software applications, an average of some three unlicensed software packages per computer.
In the first enforcement action in several months in Lebanon, the Judge of Urgent matters in Beirut commissioned an expert to raid a Beirut company that was suspected of using illegal software. The raid revealed that the company in question was using about 30 PCs loaded with more than 200 illegal software applications.
Other raids were conducted last year, where a major Lebanese bank and several resellers
were raided and prosecuted for using illegal software. Local developers and international software vendors have been calling for a more assertive protection of copyrights by the Lebanese authorities. Although the copyright protection law was approved in Lebanon in 1999, the country has not yet shown signs of a significant decline in illicit software practices.
The copyright law in Lebanon was designed to take into account the needs of students and educational institutions, and to ensure that the sensitive education sector is not denied access to technology. Many BSA members are offering discounts of up to 97 percent on original software to the educational sector.
“We have a very good copyright law,” said Walid Nasser, the BSA’s legal representative in Lebanon, “it falls well within the guidelines of international regulations, but we urgently require proper implementation. Companies should understand that software is a business tool that they should pay for, like anything else in their office, it is only fair, and it is healthy for the entire economy.”
BSA’s major role is to raise the public’s awareness of the ways in which the trading in illegal software harms the economy. It is the voice of the international software developers before governments and with consumers in the international marketplace. BSA worldwide members include Adobe, Apple Computer, Autodesk, Corel Corporation, Macromedia, Microsoft, Network Associates and Symantec. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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