Better enforcement of anti-piracy law urged
Manama, March 28, 2012
Laws against software piracy in Bahrain are excellent but enforcement needs to be better, said a top official, adding that the kingdom should carry out a nationwide crackdown in a bid to regain its position as a financial centre of the GCC.
The soaring piracy rate has put off investors and has allowed the country to slip behind the UAE as the regional leader in tackling the problem, said Microsoft Gulf regional general manager Samer Abu Ltaif.
"The 54 per cent piracy in Bahrain as compared with 35 per cent in the UAE is in itself a glaring difference," said Abu Ltaif.
"There has, however, been considerable progress in Bahrain over the last few years, but clearly a lot more needs to be done. This is important for people who have invested in and wish to invest in Bahrain and to give them the required confidence that they are coming to a safe place.”
He said authorities need to implement a harsher follow up procedure to ensure the law is upheld and the piracy rate is reduced.
Abu Ltaif was yesterday speaking on the sidelines of Microsoft's Open Door Bahrain event at the Gulf Hotel's Gulf Convention Centre.
"Just enforcing the law is not enough because the authorities need to ensure consistency in enforcing it," he said.
"There also has to be better co-ordination among the multiple agencies involved so that the guilty are caught and punished."
Abu Ltaif said pirated software could have disastrous consequences because of the security vulnerabilities it carries.
Several people who committed acts of piracy and infringed intellectual property rights in Bahrain have been reportedly punished, he said.
Abu Ltaif urged authorities to carry out more awareness campaigns, saying the reason behind the high piracy rate was the lack of knowledge about the security threats and consequences to those involved.
"We have been assisting authorities in generating awareness over the last years and will continue to do so," he said.
"Microsoft is also always in consultations with the relevant authorities to implement the law so that people are protected from pirated software." – TradeArabia News Service