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IPR forum to tackle cyber crime issues

Beirut, January 20, 2010

Cyber crime issues and software piracy in the region will be the focus of an upcoming intellectual property rights (IPR) forum in Beirut.

The fifth annual Pan Arab Intellectual Property Rights Forum will be held from January 19 to 20.

Business Software Alliance (BSA), a leading organisation dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world, is organising the event in partnership with the Lebanese Ministry of Economy and Trade.

Topics for discussion include the use of the Internet to protect copyright; government guides to reduce software piracy levels; and the economic benefits of low piracy rates. Examples of successful consumer and business awareness and education programmes will also be presented.

“The digital revolution and the rapid growth of member economies have led to an accompanying surge in anti-piracy cases within the Middle East and Africa,” said Salwa Faour, representative of Mohammed Al Safadi, Lebanon’s Minister of Economy and Trade.

“These have to be more effectively addressed, especially within Arab states that are pursuing the transition to a knowledge-based society,” he added.

“Although this forum will reveal the many tools, techniques and policy strategies that can be adopted to protect intellectual property, the real key to success is proactive participation from government, industry and the public.”

Faour cited the meeting of the joint committee in parliament that was held on January 14, 2010, during which it confirmed its approval for the Lebanese government’s draft of the two Internet treaties including the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT).

These two WIPO Internet treaties form the basis for international rules and regulations aimed at preventing unauthorised access to and use of creative works through the Internet or other digital networks.

The Middle East posted the highest internet use growth rate from 2000 to September 2009 at 1,648.2 per cent. This strong surge has significantly increased the availability of pirated software in the region, said a statement.

Globally, another 700 million illegal software copies are expected to be uploaded on the internet, with 76 per cent to be located in emerging markets. During the forum, key speakers will discuss how to deal with the growing piracy problem.

Jawad Al Redha, co-chairman of Business Software Alliance, said: “The rise in piracy cases is a reflection of the rapid growth of the region. We must be vigilant and not allow this economic and social menace to undermine the gains made by Arab states in harnessing technology for development.”

“The progression towards a piracy-free region is not impossible, but it will entail a lot of hard work and full multi-sector cooperation. The past year has seen impressive improvements to the region’s anti-piracy policy, enforcement and education programs which the BSA in particular is highly committed to sustain in collaboration with the various governments,” Al Redha concluded. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: BSA | Beirut | Intellectual Property Rights | Cyber crime | Software piracy | IPR forum |

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