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Mon 27 Nov 2000 04:00 AM

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Saudi Arabia sets out to crush piracy

Saudi Arabian authorities showed zero tollerance as they steamrollered 300,000 illegally copied CDs and diskettes in front of Riyadh computer dealers.

Saudi Arabia has graphically demonstrated its intentions to crush software piracy in the Kingdom by running a steamroller over 300,000 counterfiet and copied CDs and diskettes.

Still more striking was the choice of location: right in front of the computer dealers in Riyadh's Olaya district from which many of the illegal copies were seized.

The crushing ceremony, which was coordinated by the Ministry of Information in conjunction with the Business Software Alliance and local police, was designed to show that authorities would no longer turn a blind eye to piracy. "We understand how bad piracy is for the economy and this action is intended to demonstrate how strongly we are adressing the issue," read a Ministry statement issued at the event.

Executives from the Business Software Alliance applauded the show of strength. "This is a significant and symbolic act in the fight against software piracy," said Nasser Ali Khasawneh, regional vice-president for the BSA. "The Saudi government, in particular the Ministry of Information, should take great credit for such an inventive demonstration on the Kingdom's commitment to eradicating this crime," he added.

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