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Sun 3 Dec 2006 04:00 PM

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Anti-piracy raids on resellers in Kuwait

The Kuwaiti Ministry of Information has conducted a series of raids on three computer resellers involved in the use and trade of illegal software

The Kuwaiti Ministry of Information has conducted a series of raids on three computer resellers involved in the use and trade of illegal software.

The raids resulted in the confiscation of two computers, one hard disc and 97 CDs loaded with pirated software.

The crackdown is the latest in a string of raids by the ministry this year that has seen a total of ten companies searched for creation or distribution of illegal software.

The seizures are part of an intensification of the Kuwaiti government’s campaign against software piracy in an effort to increase protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs).

Qannas Al Adwani, director of publications at the Ministry of Information, said the ministry was continuously organising awareness campaigns aimed at educating the public about the negative impact of using pirated software.

“We are committed to further our cooperation with the various parties to train our staff to recognise and confiscate illegal software, and this will make them better equipped to implement the IPR laws in the country,” Al Adwani said.

“The ministry is also exerting efforts to raise awareness among end users about the importance of using original software and its role in raising return on IT investment,” he went on to add.

The raids were conducted in cooperation with Microsoft in its role as a member of the Business Software Alliance (BSA).

Jawad Al Redha, chairman of the BSA, said the organisation commended the efforts of the Kuwaiti authorities and congratulated them for the success of the anti-piracy campaign.

“We are committed to continue our coordination with various governments in the region to organise training programmes and awareness campaigns that will raise the skills of the employees concerned and enable them to efficiently conduct their duties,” Al Redha stated.

Despite the recent raids, Kuwaiti authorities have been criticised for not doing enough to deter software piracy.

The Arabian Anti-piracy Association (AAA) has previously told
IT Weekly

that judges have been undermining the country’s efforts to tackle software piracy by not taking the problem seriously and issuing penalties that are not strong enough to deter offenders.

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