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Bahrain Clamps Down On Software Piracy

by Lorys Charalambous, for, Cyprus

10 November 2006

It emerged this week that Bahrain's Ministry of Information has strengthened its efforts to protect intellectual property rights and raise the level of public awareness about piracy.

The MOI has also, according to the Business Software Alliance, begun a crackdown on companies using pirated software, as it seeks to establish its credentials as a responsible information technology hub in the Middle East.

During a recent raid on three computer companies, Bahraini authorities confiscated two computers and 156 pirated software products including programs such as 'Office XP', 'Windows XP', 'MacAfee Anti-virus' and 'Microsoft Adobe Photoshop'.

"The Bahraini Ministry of Information is committed to ensure protection of the IPR laws and is exerting efforts to implement legal mechanisms aimed at ensuring their enforcement. The Ministry has been launching many initiatives and campaigns in collaboration with various concerned parties in Bahrain to promote the use of original software," announced Hasan Aun, Acting Director of the Department of Press and Publication.

"These public awareness campaigns highlight the benefits of using original software, especially at the corporate level, as pirated software can reduce the performance of computers and cause errors leading to loss of important data. This campaign reflects a clear message that Bahrain is committed to providing the necessary support to curb these illegal practices," Aun added.

An annual study prepared by the global market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC) and issued by BSA, indicated that the Kingdom of Bahrain's efforts at stamping out intellectual property rights violations have recorded a reduction in the piracy rate, which went down to 60% in 2005, compared to 62% in 2004.

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