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Microsoft targets pirates in Kuwait

by Stuart Wilson, Wednesday 30 July 2008

Microsoft Gulf teamed up with Kuwait’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry to coordinate recent raids on two local computer shops using PCs loaded with pirated software. The raids, which took place in Hawalli, Kuwait, resulted in the confiscation of PCs with unlicensed software.

In its role as a member of the Business Software Alliance (BSA), Microsoft provided the information that helped the Kuwaiti authorities identify and raid the two shops, resulting in the seizure on one PC in each store loaded with pirated and unlicensed versions of various Microsoft programmes.

"This latest anti-piracy initiative is a strong message from the Kuwaiti government that it will not tolerate crimes violating intellectual property, especially those that compromise our growing IT sector. In collaboration with concerned parties such as the BSA, we will continue the fight against similar social and economic threats," said H.E. Rasha Al-Sabah, intellectual property rights manager, Kuwait.

Kuwait had earlier signed a Memorandum of Understanding with BSA authorising a comprehensive anti-piracy advertising and media campaign. The Memorandum includes the promotion of Kuwait as a major regional and international IT business destination and improved public awareness on the socio-economic significance of safeguarding intellectual property rights laws.

"Nefarious elements continue to challenge Kuwait’s commitment to becoming a piracy-free business environment. The BSA will continue to support local private and public sector programs and initiatives to ensure that software piracy in the country is nipped in the bud. We also call on individuals to avoid falling victims to profiteers and report suspicious piracy-related activities to the appropriate authorities or organizations such as the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Information and the BSA," said Jawad Al Redha, BSA Co-Chairman in the Middle East.

CE Analysis: It is difficult to assess the effectiveness of this type of raid in the Middle East market. It is tempting to say that they are merely a ‘drop in the ocean’ and are designed to show that something is being done, rather than achieving anything of real substance. It’s a step in the right direction, but we’re talking about two shops having one PC confiscated each. Piracy is rife in many of the computer resale districts in the major cities across the Middle East.

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January, 2021

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