Piracy rate in Jordan fifth lowest in Arab world -- report [Jordan Times, Amman :: ]
(Jordan Times, The Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) July 02--AMMAN -- Software piracy in Jordan dropped by 1 per cent in 2013 and the Kingdom was among five Arab states with the lowest illegal use of unlicensed software, according to a study by the Business Software Alliance (BSA).
Jordan registered a 57 per cent software piracy rating in 2013, compared to 58 per cent in 2011 and 57 per cent in and 2009, the 2013 BSA Global Software Survey indicated.
The Kingdom's software piracy rate was the fifth lowest among Arab states and the ninth lowest in the Middle East and Africa region, the study showed.
The lowest piracy rate in the region was registered in the UAE (36 per cent), followed by Qatar (49 per cent), Saudi Arabia (50 per cent) and Bahrain (53 per cent).
The commercial value of unlicensed software in Jordan amounted to $35 million in 2013 compared to $31 million in 2011, according to the BSA study.
But National Library Department (NLD) Director General Mohammad Abbadi said he was "not satisfied with the rating".
"I expected Jordan to witness a further drop in software piracy rates following a series of intensive campaigns in all sectors. However, we will continue to exert our utmost efforts to reduce this rate and protect intellectual property," Abbadi told The Jordan Times in an interview on Monday.
"About 85 per cent of the private sector's schools have already stopped using unlicensed software. This is a major achievement that we expected would lead to a further drop in the piracy rate."
Last year, the NLD also implemented a major campaign in cooperation with Microsoft Jordan to raise awareness among shop owners on the risks of selling unlicensed software, and many violating stores were fined, Abbadi said.
Since the beginning of this year, the NLD has referred more than 240 cases of intellectual property right violations to court.
It has also confiscated more than 64,000 pirated items, 25-30 per cent of which are software, followed by videogames, Abbadi said.
Commending the presence of various law enforcement entities that help in protecting intellectual property rights and preventing cyber crimes, Sana Jaser, intellectual property manager and anti-piracy lead at Microsoft Jordan, said more efforts are needed to combat software piracy.
"Compared to several countries in the region, Jordan is in a good condition when it comes to combating software piracy. But there is a need for more training and more awareness on the issue among all stakeholders," Jaser told The Jordan Times.
She added that Microsoft, in cooperation with the NLD, will continue to raise awareness on the issue as technologies are changing.
Citing the study, Jaser said the Internet represents the main source for obtaining pirated software (45 per cent), followed by markets (21 per cent) and borrowing from other people (16 per cent).
At the global level, 43 per cent of the software installed on personal computers in 2013 was not properly licensed, the BSA study showed, marking an uptick from 42 per cent in its previous study in 2011.
The commercial value of these unlicensed software installations slipped marginally to $62.7 billion.
The chief reason computer users around the world cite for not using unlicensed software is avoiding security threats from malware, according to the study.
Among the security risks associated with unlicensed software, 64 per cent of users cited unauthorised access by hackers as a top concern, while 59 per cent cited loss of data.
The Jordanian Copyright Law stipulates that it is a crime to download software, music or movies that are protected under the legislation. Offenders face a prison sentence of between three months and three years and a fine ranging from JD1, 000 to JD6, 000.
The NLD has referred about 4,000 cases of intellectual property rights violations to court since 2000.
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