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Egypt's software piracy rating drops

afrol News, 14 May - Egypt continues to make progress in combating software piracy, with its rating by the annual Business Software Alliance (BSA), showing declining levels of the practice in the country.

A study by the IDC Global Software Piracy has said that Egypt's 2008 rating has dropped a further one percent on the previous year, with levels reducing to 59 percent, and a total fall of 10 percent since 2003. This is the fifth consecutive year that Egypt's piracy rates have fallen, the report stated.

The report evaluated data from 110 countries across the globe and covered the piracy of all packaged software including, personal computers such as laptops, desktops and ultra-portables.

The report however has said that whilst Egypt shows commitment to improving its piracy rating, software piracy remains a serious problem in many other countries, hindering economic growth and long-term recovery. The global PC software piracy rate rose for the second year in a row, largely due to the rapid growth of PC shipments in high-piracy countries such as China and India, added the report.

"Despite the global challenges, Egypt shows determination to tackle piracy head on, highlighting its commitment to providing a modern business environment. Since the first BSA-IDC Global Software Piracy Study, Egypt's piracy rating has fallen year on year, resulting in a lower piracy rating than some of the other leading global outsourcing locations including India (68%); China (80%) and Morocco (66%)," the report stated.

Commenting on the report's finding, Dr Tarek Kamel, Egypt's minister of communications and information technology said: "Piracy is still a global issue but Egypt continues to make significant progress against software piracy helping to build the country's position as a leading outsourcing location and improve the wider economy."

Egypt's progress was further recognised in the recent annual 301 Special Report produced last month by the Office of the United States Trade Representative, USTR. The report praised ITIDA for its law enforcement against entertainment and business software piracy, the result of heavy investment in improved laws and training for judges who have jurisdiction over civil and criminal IPR cases within Egypt.

The report also applauded Egypt's dedication to tackling the issue of piracy, highlighting how the increased collaboration between Egypt and the US on enforcement for IPR cases has delivered a rise in the number of convictions and tougher sentences for criminals, saying this sends a clear signal to the rest of the world that Egypt is fully committed to further reducing its piracy rating.

Dr Hazem Abdelazim, CEO, ITIDA commented on Egypt's position in the global market, saying: "Egypt has made excellent progress in reducing piracy levels over the last few years. It has shown commitment to tackling the challenges facing the industry with a number of initiatives including Intellectual Property Rights training for the Egyptian legal community and promotion of the copyright law to increase awareness of IPR and its role in sustaining economic growth and attracting foreign direct investment."

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