Changing people's mindsets key to combating software piracy -- Microsoft
AMMAN, Mar 14, 2013 (Jordan Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Although Jordan is one of the best performing countries in combating software piracy, widespread social acceptance of pirated material remains a key impediment to combating this issue in the Kingdom, according to experts at Microsoft.
Jordan, which is one of three countries in the region to sign all international intellectual property rights (IPR) treaties, is on the right track to combat software piracy, but more needs to be done, they said.
"We still have a long way to go, through increasing cross-border cooperation and establishing IPR courts with specialised judiciary officials," Sana Jaser, anti-piracy lead at the Microsoft Jordan office, said in a recent interview with The Jordan Times.
Highlighting challenges facing efforts to combat software piracy, she said enforcement of IPR laws was not active enough, with users in the country lacking information about software piracy.
"We need to change people's mindsets in Jordan with regards to piracy. We need to make it clear to them that it is a crime. It is stealing, whether you are consumer or a business owner," Jaser said.
"When you purchase pirated software, you are supporting a criminal organisation to the disadvantage of Jordan. We need to work together to make it clear to the general public in terms of awareness campaigns and active enforcement of Jordan's IPR Law," she added.
Sherif Morsi, Windows client business group lead for North Africa, East Mediterranean and Pakistan at Microsoft, said Microsoft believes that there is a gradual improvement in combating software piracy in Jordan.
"Better law enforcement and more awareness among people and entities are key to reducing software piracy, which reached 58 per cent in 2011," Morsi told The Jordan Times during the joint interview.
According to estimates by Morsi, Jordan imports around 175,000 personal computers every year, 75,000 of which do not have operating systems.
"The PCs that do not have operating systems are usually the ones with pirated software," he noted.
"Over the past four years, the number of PCs that entered Jordan without an installed operating system reached 300,000," Morsi said, adding that individuals and businesses that have such PCs mostly use pirated copies.
Combating software piracy will not only protect the economy from losses, but also protect individuals from cyber crimes such as identity theft and phishing, experts said.
Citing international studies on software piracy, which covered Jordan, Jaser said one in three consumer PCs with counterfeit software will be infected with malware in 2013 while consumers worldwide will waste $22 billion and 1.5 billion hours dealing with security issues resulting from counterfeit software.
About 80 per cent of counterfeit software sold online has some kind of malware, infection or other problems, according to a study by Microsoft and the International Data Corporation (IDC).
Highlighting major problems users of pirated software face, Jaser said 45 per cent of computer owners said they had to uninstall the pirated software as it slowed down their PCs.
Thirty per cent said such software overran their PCs with pop ups and 26 per cent said it infected their computers with a virus, she added.
According to consumers, the top three sources for pirated software are the Internet (45 per cent), street market (21 per cent) and borrowing from others (16 per cent).
"The majority of those who use pirated software download them from several websites, which are constantly targeted by hackers," Morsi said.
At the economic level, the commercial value of unlicensed software in Jordan was $31 million in 2011.
Decreasing the piracy rate by 10 percentage points over four years would create $142 billion in new economic activity while adding more than 500,000 new high-tech jobs and generating almost $32 billion in new tax revenues, Jaser said, citing a study by the IDC and the Business Software Alliance.
Stressing that Microsoft is committed to educating customers on what to look for and how to avoid downloading counterfeit software, Jaser, said users can visit http://www.microsoft.com/genuine and http://www.microsoft.com/resources/howtotell, which provide detailed information and examples of counterfeit software, as well as guidance on what consumers should watch for before purchasing software.
Mohammad Abbadi, director general of the National Library Department, said there are ongoing campaigns with Microsoft to raise awareness on the need for combating software piracy in Jordan.
"The more people are aware of the risks, the less piracy rates will be," Abbadi told The Jordan Times during an interview Tuesday.
"A pirated software item costs around JD0.25 and it is sold for JD15 or JD20, while the price of original software starts from around JD50. Although it is a bit higher, it is more feasible to buy an original," Abbadi added.
Using pirated software will lead to a system crash, forcing users to fix the PC several times and pay for that," Abbadi said.
In Jordan, it is a crime to download or sell pirated software, music or movies that are protected under the Jordanian Copyright Law.
Offenders face a prison sentence of between three months and three years and a fine ranging from JD1,000 to JD6,000.
Use of pirated software
-- One in three consumer PCs with counterfeit software will be infected with malware in 2013
-- Consumers worldwide will waste $22 billion and 1.5 billion hours dealing with security issues from counterfeit software this year
-- 80% of counterfeit software sold online has some kind of malware or infection
-- 45% of computer users said they had to uninstall pirated software as it slowed down their PCs
-- 34% said they had to reinstall it because it did not run the first time
-- 30% said it overran their PC with pop ups, while 26% per cent said it infected their PC with a virus
-- According to consumers, the top three sources for pirated software are the Internet (45%), street market (21%) and borrowing from others (16%)
Source: International Data Corporation/ Business Software Alliance
___ (c)2013 the Jordan Times (Amman, Jordan) Visit the Jordan Times (Amman,
Jordan) at www.jordantimes.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
[ InfoTech Spotlight's Homepage ]