DUBAI — The Dubai Police have launched a drive against distribution channels involved in the sale of pirated software to protect intellectual property rights (IPRs) and users from the negative effects of the use of illegal software.
The drive, being carried out in cooperation with the Arabian Anti-piracy Alliance of trademark owners such as Adobe Systems Middle East and North Africa, aims at spreading awareness about the negative impact of pirated software on the national economy.
Brigadier Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Director of the General Department of Criminal Investigation, said, “Reducing the rate of software piracy and copyright violations requires an integrated approach targeting illegal distribution channels. Piracy among these channels has become a major concern of late and the issue is very important because of the secrecy surrounding the sale of pirated products in different locations in the emirate.
“Hence, we aim, in cooperation with the Arabian Anti-piracy Alliance and owners of trademarks, to completely eliminate piracy and illegal distribution channels in the UAE to avoid the negative effects on the economic growth.”
Lt-Colonel Salah bu Osaiba, Director of the Anti-Economic Crimes Department, said the department is trying to put in place a mechanism to prevent crimes committed through the use of the latest technologies to boost confidence among investors and owners of IPRs in the UAE.
He said the department has achieved great success in its efforts to protect IPRs. It has launched this campaign with a clear message that the government takes a strong stand and serious action against the sale of pirated software. The police will continue the crackdown on illegal distribution channels and violators of IPRs.
Scott Butler, CEO of Arabian Anti-piracy Alliance, said, “We are confident that the Dubai Police’s recent campaign will leave a positive impact, strengthening the efforts to protect these rights and ensure the sustainable growth of the national economy.”
The ninth annual global study on software piracy, conducted by Business Software Alliance (BSA) in collaboration with the IDC Foundation and Ipsos Public Affairs, indicates that the rate of software piracy in the Middle East and Africa was 58 per cent over the past year, Butler said. The commercial value of the unlicensed software is slightly less than $4.2 billion in the region. The study revealed that 41 per cent of the respondents in the UAE have access to illegally programmes “all the time”, as compared to 13 per cent who involve in it “most of the times” and 21 per cent “from time to time”, while only 9 per cent “rarely have access to pirated software”. The study also showed that software pirates in the UAE are mostly in the age group of 25 to 34 years.