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Microsoft Gulf leads anti-piracy raids against 3 Abu Dhabi IT resellers.

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Microsoft Gulf in collaboration with Abu Dhabi authorities has announced that it has recently conducted three raids against IT resellers who were selling products with unlicensed Microsoft software in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Microsoft, initiating the raids in its capacity as a member of the Business Software Alliance (BSA), has been closely observing the resellers following reports that they were installing illegal versions of MS Office 2007 and Windows XP on computers sold to customers. The incursions led to the seizure of 93 pirated software CDs.

Microsoft has also previously collaborated with BSA, the international association established by the software industry to promote a safe and legal digital world, and other local authorities in organising Abu Dhabi raids that resulted in four arrests and the seisure of three personal computers and 84 CDs loaded with pirated software applications. The ongoing campaign is part of a drive towards removing unlicensed installations of Microsoft programs in the UAE, where a Madar Research report reveals that PC sales are growing at a compound average growth rate of around 12 per cent, one of the highest in the Middle East. At this rate, PC penetration in the country will be 27 per cent higher than the world average by 2008.

Jawad Al Redha, IPR Manager, Microsoft Gulf, said "We will continue to support and follow up these recent raids to protect the integrity of Abu Dhabi's local software market. Our actions are meant to send a strong signal that the UAE in general and the capital city in particular will not tolerate piracy of any form. We encourage both public and private interests to report any activities against intellectual property, and we extend our appreciation to local authorities who have been supportive of our anti-piracy campaign."

The UAE leads the Middle East in intellectual property rights (IPR) and copyright protection, currently placing 29th in the world rankings of IPR protection. According to global research firm IDC, the country enjoys a software piracy rate of 35 per cent, far below the 57 per cent average of the Middle East and North Aftrica region. UAE law strictly requires software users to keep evidence of the originality of the software they buy and use.

"Software piracy victimizes not only the economy but society as well, which still views such crimes as petty. We will continue to fight this illegal trade through aggressive private and public dissemination of its detrimental effects, productive partnerships with organizations such as BSA, and close cooperation with enforcement authorities," concluded Al Redha.

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Publication:Albawaba.com
Date:Feb 24, 2008
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