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Thu 9 Jan 2003 04:00 AM

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Two men jailed for selling illegal software

The Court of First Instance finds two men guilty of copyright infringement and sentences each to a month in jail under new UAE copyright law.

Two men who have confessed to copying software illegally over the internet and downloading it onto PCs have been sentenced to one month in prison each. Both had been arrested during a police raid, where they were readying to sell three computers loaded with unlicensed software. The Court of First Instance heard that 72 counterfeit CDs were also found on the premises and has confiscated the software, transferring the file to the Prosecutor’s office for further action. The Arabian Anti Piracy Alliance hailed the judgment as a landmark in the fight against copyright violations in the United Arab Emirates.“We applaud the Court of First Instance for this order,” said Scott Butler, chief executive officer of the Arabian Anti Piracy Alliance. “The facts are clear: these resellers decided to ignore the law and the government’s advice to deal only in legal products. So it is normal that they serve the penalties dictated by the UAE’s copyright laws.”The UAE is fighting to improve its track record in terms of copyright protection. The country’s intellectual property law was passed in 1992, and has been amended since, in order to keep with technological and economical developments. “This is a great opportunity for us to remind all those who are still dealing illegally in copyrighted material that these actions do not go unpunished,” added Butler. “The UAE authorities are vigilant and they are intent on upholding the law and prosecuting those who break it.”

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