February 17, 2001: The intellectual property rights protection of software developers can
attract more foreign investment to Pakistan, said Jawad Al Redha, Director,
Business Software Alliance (BSA), Middle East. "If copyrights were the
norm in Pakistan, the international companies would see the country as more
friendly," he said in a statement.
In the latest move, BSA, the alliance of world's leading software companies has got
another three software pirates arrested in Karachi, in assistance with the police.
All the eleven personal computers (PCs) loaded with the counterfeit
computer programmes and the 29 illegal compact disks (CDs) were seized from their
possession as a proof of infringing the country's copyright laws, he said.
The BSA, whose members include Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec and AutoDesk,
believes "the foreign investment would not only bring in capital, but also attract
the overseas talent back home besides stopping the brain drain," he said.
The pirated goods, Jawad said, not only hurt the international software companies but also
country's national exchequer as the pirates do not pay taxes. "The pirates also
freeze job generation in the IT sector by discouraging domestic software developers and
the related chain," he added.
The businesses that can afford to use legal software must do so in their own and national
interest, he suggested and clarified when someone creates a new computer programme and his
creation is possessed without paying due royalties then it amounts to stealing,
"which is neither morally nor legally justified."
Jawad said people interested in intellectual property rights can get assistance from the
BSA's toll free phone line installed in Karachi, 0800-01234. The BSA, he said, promotes
the continued growth of the software industry through its international public policy,
education, and enforcement programs in 65 countries throughout North America,
Europe, Asia and Latin America. BSA's world-wide members include the leading publishers of
software for personal computers Adobe, Apple Computer,
AutoDesk, Bentley Systems, Lotus Development, Microsoft, Novell, Symantec
Corporation, and The Santa Cruz Operation. Its Policy Council comprises these publishers
and other leading computer technology companies including Compaq,
Computer Associates, and Sybase.
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