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IT sector ‘hit by 58pc software piracy rate’

Dubai, December 13, 2012

Middle East and Africa as a whole has a software piracy rate of 58 per cent, and this unauthorized usage of copyrighted software is among the most significant threats to the IT industry in the region, said a top official.

“It is vital for consumers in the UAE to know what to look out for when it comes to pirated or counterfeit products,” said Major Rashed Mohammad Saleh, the deputy director of the Anti-Economic Crimes Department from The Dubai Police.

“Not only are these products of a lower level of quality, but it is also illegal to knowingly partake in piracy and counterfeiting of any kind.”

Major Saleh was speaking at a meeting with Microsoft, a member of the ‘Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy’ (Bascap), discussing the growing problems businesses in the UAE face with concerns of piracy in the Gulf region.

The meeting focused on raising awareness of piracy, pirated products and how people can avoid them.

During the event, spokespeople from Microsoft and The Dubai Police both agreed that educating local consumers is the best way to curb piracy in the Emirates.

“We are all strong supporters of public knowledge, whatever we can do and say that positively impacts consumers here in the UAE is another step towards a piracy free economy,” said Savas Yucedag, Anti-Piracy & License Compliance Lead at Microsoft.

According to a recent Harrison Group study, computers using counterfeit software have an increased risk of security threats and also perform much more poorly than those using genuine software.

Yucedag added: “As a responsible leader in information technology here and around the world, we work to make sure that people know the dangers of pirated products, and how they can avoid them.”

The study also found that nearly one in four (24 per cent) of the pirated operating systems became infected at installation, or independently downloaded and installed malicious software upon connection to the internet and one in four of the counterfeit versions of Microsoft software tested was unable to download automatic Windows and Office updates.

In a test measuring the time it took to load popular Internet web pages that were heavy with text and graphics, PCs running genuine Windows outperformed their pirated counterparts 59 per cent of the time by an average of 46 per cent.

In tests measuring the time it takes to print 500kb or 1mb Word documents, genuine machines were faster than their pirated counterparts in half (48 per cent) of the test configurations by an average of 56 per cent.

 “The Dubai Police advises consumers in the United Arab Emirates to report any suspicious activity that is believed to be in line with piracy to local authorities,” Major Saleh said.

He added that consumers that knowingly partake or abide by pirated products or any other kind of piracy can be held accountable by authorities. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Microsoft | Dubai Police | IT | Software piracy | Bascap |

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