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Mon 2 Oct 2006 04:00 AM

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BSA assists Omani fight against software piracy

In an attempt to crack down on piracy in Oman, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has recruited assistance from the Business Software Alliance. The anti-piracy organisation has conducted a training programme with the inspectors and law enforcement bodies in the Sultanate to bring down piracy.

Oman's Ministry of Commerce and Industry is bidding to crack down on piracy within the country after recruiting the assistance of the Business Software Alliance (BSA). The anti-piracy organisation has just conducted a training programme with the Ministry's inspectors and law enforcement bodies in order to tackle the problem.

The training, aimed to equip officers with the skills and knowledge to identify companies that breach intellectual property rights (IPR) laws, placed a strong emphasis on how to distinguish between original and pirated software. It is the latest in a series of exercises conducted by the BSA with the intention of educating and raising awareness amongst regulatory authorities in the region.

“The ministry has adopted a multi-pronged strategy to boost the anti-piracy drive which includes awareness programmes, training initiatives and stricter enforcement of IPR laws,” said Omar Faisal Al-Gahadami, director of consumer protection department at Oman's Ministry of Commerce & Industry. “Through this training program, we seek to become more acquainted with the ways and means to easily identify pirated software, thus lending further impetus to the country’s efforts to curb the threat of software piracy,” he added.

Jawad Al Redha, co-chairman at the BSA's Middle East office, said: “One of the pre-requisites to an effective anti-piracy strategy involves ensuring that investigating officers gain sufficient expertise to perform their responsibilities efficiently, and we find the Omani authorities’ efforts in this direction very encouraging. We commend the Omani authorities for their continued efforts to bring down piracy rate in the country, and call upon more governmental authorities in the region to organise similar training and awareness programmes.

In an effort to attract foreign investment to the country and create more employment opportunities, the Omani government has recently stepped up its crusade against software piracy. The BSA training follows a series of awareness campaigns that have been organised by the Ministry to highlight the detrimental effects of piracy.

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