FIA Launches Countrywide Crackdown Against Pirators

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has initiated a countrywide crackdown to curb the growing threat of piracy in the country.

M/s Microsoft Corporation had lodged a written complaint with the FIA Crime Circle Karachi against M/s Softwise Technology for being allegedly involved in copyright violations of its software products and selling them by pre-installing pirated software copies on machines.

Accordingly, on the instructions of Mir Zubair Mehmood, Director FIA Sindh, a team of FIA Crime Circle Karachi was formed by Khaliq uz Zaman Khan, Deputy Director FIA Crime Circle, Karachi.

The team, headed by Assistant Director Zafar Iqbal and comprised of Sub-Inspector Shahbaz Khan, Sub-Inspector Sanaullah, ASI Bilal and others, conducted a raid at the premises of M/s Softwise Technology and confiscated a huge quantity of pirated software articles including CDs, hard drives and PCs with pre-installed pirated software.

A case FIR No. 17/09, dated 23-04-2009, was registered under sections of Copyright Ordinance 1962, Pakistan Penal Code and Prevention of Electronic Crimes Ordinance and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), M/s Softwise Technology, Khushnood Aftab has been arrested in this case.

Further investigations are in progress. More arrests in this connection are expected.

In the aftermath of growing piracy around the world and in Pakistan, Microsoft advocates a stronger IPR-friendly environment for economic and social prosperity.

This pledge of Microsoft comes at a point when the software piracy rate alone in the country stands at a staggering 84 percent, according to a Global Software Piracy Study.

The situation of software piracy is negatively impacting Pakistan’s IT competitiveness in the world. According to a report from the Economic Intelligence sponsored by Business Software Alliance (BSA) published in September 2008, in piracy Pakistan’s ranking is 62nd in the world and it is lower than countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
“Microsoft has remained true to its commitment of curbing the threat of piracy through concerted efforts both in terms of social awareness and provision of genuine software solutions to unsuspecting enterprises and home users,” said a spokesperson of Microsoft.

“With a view to highlight benefits of IPR-protection, Microsoft supports initiatives taken by local law enforcement agencies like Federal Investigation Agency to enforce the laws that protect intellectual property rights,” he added.
Kamal Ahmed, Country Manager Microsoft Pakistan, also highlights the economic disadvantages in Pakistan, saying that the country has to face these problems due to the growing menace of piracy and IPR-infringement.

“In Pakistan, the industrial and manufacturing sector is bearing the brunt of massive use of pirated and untaxed software,” he added.

“According to a global piracy study conducted by Business Software Alliance (BSA) in 2007, a mere 10 percent decrease in piracy rate in the country can contribute to over US $ 160 million to GDP and raise over US $ 20 million in additional income to the government. Increased use of legitimate software will also promote a better environment for foreign companies to invest in Pakistan”.

Via Daily Mail

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