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Microsoft to release list of local stores selling pirated software

By Mohammad Ghazal - Jan 30,2013 - Last updated at Jan 30,2013

AMMAN — Microsoft Corporation will soon provide the National Library Department (NLD) with addresses of more than 300 stores in Jordan that sell pirated software, according to the NLD Director General Mohammad Abbadi.

The NLD will notify these stores of the need to stop selling pirated software and warn them that legal measures will be taken against them if they do not comply, Abbadi told The Jordan Times over the phone on Wednesday.

“When we get the list, we will send SMSs to these stores and after that our inspection teams will check on them. If they do not abide by the law, they will be fined,” he said.

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.

The NLD has referred about 40 cases of intellectual property rights (IPR) violations to court this year, 10 of which are related to sale of pirated software, Abbadi said.

Noting that around 95 per cent of the country’s institutions and companies use original software, he added that some small- and medium-sized institutions still use pirated software.

Ahmad, an employee at a computer store in the capital’s Jabal Hussein area, said he sells pirated software for about JD10 and that demand is good.

“None of my customers ask for original software, which costs more than JD50,” Ahmad told The Jordan Times on Wednesday.

“As long as there is software for JD10, why would people buy originals?” he asked.

Hamzah Hammoudeh, a university student, agreed.

“Whenever the Microsoft Office programme installed on my computer crashes, I take the computer to a shop and download the software for JD10 or JD15,” he told The Jordan Times.

Abbadi also said that all of the country’s private schools, with the exception of two or three, have stopped using pirated software.

“We are currently implementing a campaign urging private schools to stop using pirated software. Many rectified their situation, while a few still need to do so. We are following up on this issue and will make sure that all private schools use original software,” he said.

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