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UAE leads Middle East efforts in the fight against piracy

The UAE Ministry of Economy (MoE) recently hosted a training workshop on software piracy and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection for its staff, conducted by Adobe Systems in coordination with the Arabian Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAA).

The training workshop, held at Adobe’s office in Dubai, was part of the continuing collaboration between the MoE, Adobe and AAA in generating greater awareness about IPR protection and to highlight the negative impact of software piracy on the social and economic development of the UAE.

The discussion included a detailed presentation of Adobe products and the proper installation and activation process that validates the authenticity of the purchased software. Adobe also discussed measures adopted to protect consumers against pirated software such as the software tagging mechanism, which is a process of maintaining a set of tag files (.swtag) on a client machine to determine the installation and license state of various software products.

The training also covered the importance of ISO/IEC 19770-2:2009 in providing a Software Asset Management (SAM) standard for software identification tags, which accurately identify installed software programs.

H.E. Humaid Ali Bin Butti Al Muhairi, assistant undersecretary for Commercial Affairs, Ministry of Economy,said, “The Ministry is strongly committed to eliminate software piracy and we are therefore joining forces with our strategic partners from the private sector such as Adobe and AAA to sustain our nationwide anti-piracy campaign. The ministry encourages all software manufacturers to organise such workshops that contribute to the development of inspection skills, and facilitates the creation of appropriate mechanisms to verify whether the products are original or counterfeit.”

Juma Mubarak Fairouz, director of the Department of Commerce Control, said, “The department is keen on constantly communicating with the private sector to develop various software piracy control mechanisms. We are also keen to step up inspection campaigns to check the authenticity of software used in companies in coordination with entities operating in the software field and the relevant local authorities. The anti-piracy operations have gained great interest in line with initiatives that are part of the annual management operational plan.”

Naser Samaenah, regional license compliance manager Middle East and North Africa, Adobe Systems MENA, said: “Software piracy remains a major threat to the growth of global economies, and to the UAE’s status as a safe and attractive business hub. Adobe has organized the training in collaboration with the Arabian Anti Piracy Alliance as part of our proactive efforts to assist the UAE Ministry of Economy in addressing key issues related to IPR protection and piracy. We will continue to explore more ways to leverage our expertise and resources in helping our strategic partners from the government and the private sector prevent the proliferation of piracy.”

Scott Butler, CEO, Arabian Anti-Piracy Alliance, said, “Our continuing fight against piracy has been gaining solid momentum with the support of leading anti-piracy advocates such as Adobe. Moreover, the support of the Ministry of Economy is equally crucial as it allows us to bring our key messages to a wider cross-section of the society. The trainings conducted by Adobe are very important to create greater awareness about the UAE’s IPR laws and to remind the public of the legal implications of using and selling pirated software.”

According to the UAE Federal Law No.7 of 2002 concerning copyright, management of organisations that use illegal software can face criminal prosecution. The UAE has been highly successful in its anti-piracy efforts, having registered the lowest software piracy rate among Arab countries at 36%, according to a report by the IDC.

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