Friday, November 27, 2009

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Authorities target book piracy in raids across the country; LA Times, 11/18/09

Alexandra Sandels, LA Times; UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Authorities target book piracy in raids across the country:

"Fearing that the United Arab Emirates might turn into a haven for intellectual property scofflaws, authorities are implementing tough new measures to keep pirated book traders at bay.

Over the last months, the UAE's Ministry of Economy along with police forces in Dubai and Sharjah and the Arabian Anti-Piracy Alliance have carried out a series of raids suspected of book piracy across the country.

The task force is said to have so far busted three major traders and locked them up on charges of violating copyright law. Several book shops were shut down in the raids, while others were let off with fines, read a news release published by local media.

The raids turned out to be fruitful. A wide variety of pirated books were apparently retrieved in the operation...

International publishers have expressed delight over the UAE's determination to take on their archenemies.

"It is vitally important to combat book piracy in all its forms and we are delighted by the authorities' commitment to enforcing the UAE's copyright laws. Piracy undermines authors' livelihood, placing the future of high quality content under threat. Publishers add further value in bringing that content to market and if they cannot be rewarded for their role, they too will cease to exist,” said Emma House, international director of the Publishers Assn. in the U.K.

The drive to curtail book piracy is part of a larger campaign launched by the UAE’s Ministry of Economy earlier this month that aims to spur public awareness of intellectual property rights such as trademarks and patents, and industrial designs. The campaign is considered a first of its kind in the region and is reportedly advertised on various media outlets in English and Arabic. "

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