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Thu 12 Apr 2007 04:00 AM

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Microsoft raids rogue trader

Software titan Microsoft has reached an out-of-court settlement with software trader Royal Focus. The trading enterprise was raided, with the co-operation of the BSA and government officials, to curb levels of piracy in the region.

Software titan Microsoft has reached an out-of-court settlement with software trader Royal Focus. The trading enterprise was raided, with the co-operation of the BSA and government officials, to curb levels of piracy in the region.

The out of court agreement saw Royal Focus sign an undertaking to abstain from utilising, exhibiting or soliciting any pirated software from Microsoft. The liability amount will be increased if evidence of continued infringement is found.

Juma Al Leem, director of censorship department at the Dubai Government, said: “The UAE is trying to build a society that respects creativity, innovation and protects intellectual property rights. Our role is to assist all concerned parties in building a society that is free from piracy to help establish a strong community that will respect each other. Microsoft Corporation and the BSA’s efforts to crack down against corporations and individuals that flaunt the principles of IPR will have a massively buoyant effect on regional creative capital and will catalyse strong growth in the IT sector and software industry.”

Tolga Altinordu, OEM director at Microsoft Gulf, claims the vendor is determined to reduce software piracy through any and all legitimate means, and that piracy is not a victimless crime. “It has destructive potential of stifling creativity, hampering economic growth, eroding trust and perverting business environments. In addition, flawed pirated software leaves a firm open to exploitation from hackers, potential data loss and theft, increasing chances of direct financial losses. We are conducting a comprehensive array of raids through intelligence gathered from public and private sector partners, and will prosecute firms found to be in abeyance of IPR laws.”

Altinordu revealed the vendor reached an out of court settlement with the trader because Royal Focus was anxious to settle the matter with the vendor. “We acknowledge the firm’s cooperation in this regard and are confident that they will here forth respect intellectual property. However, we are prepared and ready to commence legal proceedings against repeat offenders, or entities that try misleading us about their use of pirated software,” Altinordu added.

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