29,000 pirated Xbox games confiscated

DUBAI - In series of coordinated raids, officials in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah have confiscated thousands of pirated games.

By (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Sun 30 May 2010, 11:19 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:48 PM

The raids were conducted as part of the country’s strict policy in containing piracy and promoting genuine products.

The confiscated products included over 29,000 pirated copies of Xbox games, which is an intellectual property of software giant Microsoft Corp. The authorities landed the fake products in around 21 raids conducted across the three emirates.

In Abu Dhabi, the Ministry of Economy liaised with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development to gain additional officers for assistance; enabling them to target a number of stores, and to conduct the raids simultaneously.

“The ramifications of piracy and the distribution of pirated goods will always negatively impact any economy and hinder growth. It does no justice to the businesses that are operating legitimately and complying with all regulatory and UAE laws,” said Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz, Managing Director, UAE Ministry of Economy. “The Ministry, in collaboration with private rights holders such as Microsoft, will take all necessary actions to clamp down on piracy and the distribution of counterfeit products in the UAE.”

In Sharjah, the store raids conducted by government authorities lead to the confiscation of pirated products and the arrest of three people who are currently facing criminal charges. When one store which is known as a major supplier of pirated games in the market was raided, approximately 25,000 pirated DVDs were seized. The pirated games were purportedly found on specially built and hidden shelves, which had neatly arranged bundles of 50 pirated DVDs.

“Not only do pirated games seriously affect our consumers, but they also threaten our partners and resellers that do business legitimately. Microsoft will continue to make every effort to reduce piracy in the UAE,” said Jawad Al Redha, Anti-Piracy Manager, Microsoft Gulf. “We will continue working closely with all the relevant local Ministries and Authorities to pursue all offenders taking an unfair advantage of our legitimate partners and consumers.”

“Most pirated games don’t deliver the high quality gaming experience that Microsoft Xbox 360 offers for the consumer, depriving them of the blockbuster entertainment experience they expect from Xbox 360. And crucially, to play pirated games the console needs to be modified or “chipped”. This then results in the loss of the warranty for the gaming console,” he added.

“We dearly appreciate the efforts of the UAE authorities in dealing with resellers and outlets distributing and selling pirated Xbox 360 games in the UAE,” said Rami El Hussein, Managing Director Pluto. “With a clamp on pirated Xbox 360 games being distributed in the country, it creates a level playing field for the legitimate stores to conduct business and maintain a high quality product offering for our valued customers.”

Microsoft continues to educate customers and partners about the adverse effects of piracy on the local economy. The company continues to create awareness about the risks posed to customers when using pirated or counterfeit products, including compliance, customer support and product warranty.

The Middle East is experiencing a fast growing IT sector and software industry, but the impact of this growth is undermined by software piracy. Technology as an industry contributes significantly to economic development and Microsoft is partnering with local government to promote respect for intellectual property rights and the culture of innovation.


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