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Mon 18 Aug 2008 05:32 PM

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Five arrested in UAE software piracy blitz

Computer shops targeted in joint venutre to crack down on illegal software on sale in emirates.

Five people have been arrested and dozens of CDs confiscated after raids in the UAE to take pirated software off shop shelves.

Microsoft, a member of the Business Software Alliance, and the UAE Ministry of Economy collaborated to follow up reports of pirated software being sold in local computer stores.

The successful raids led to five arrests in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and the confiscation of 122 CDs and five hard disks.

Four Abu Dhabi salesmen and one Dubai reseller were charged under Federal Law No. 7, concerning copyrights and neighbouring rights.

Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz Alshihhi, MoE Undersecretary, said: “The Ministry is leading the way in addressing IPR violations, particularly software piracy.

"Given the rapid rise of the UAE’s IT sector and its huge influence on economic progress, extra effort must be exerted to prevent criminal activities from compromising this growth industry’s sustained development."

Jawad Al Redha, co-chairman of the Business Software Alliance in the Middle East, added: “These were very successful raids which affirmed the presence of various threats to the UAE’s growing software markets."

According to the BSA, 35 percent of the world's software is pirated. The recent BSA member-initiated effort is part of a broader ongoing campaign to remove unlicensed software programs in the UAE.

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