Egypt tackles software piracy, with lowest theft-rate in Middle East
Egypt Launches Digital Forensic Lab to Improve Intellectual Property Rights’ (IPR) Protection and Enforcement. Govt. made great strides to combat cyber-crime and crack down on IP infringement
The Government of Egypt has announced today that it is setting up a specialized digital forensic lab for Intellectual Property as part of its enforcement schemes of combating software piracy.
The new lab, the first of its kind in the MENA region, is mainly designed to resolve business software and internet-based piracy cases. It authentically recovers data from digital devices and unearths new fraud techniques.
The latest measures applied aim to enhance the investigative capabilities and ease the digital forensic evidence acquisition, analysis, and reporting.
The cutting-edge techniques and latest technologies employed in the lab devise a roadmap for judges, prosecutors, and lawyers. The practiced procedures enable them to distinguish the counterfeit products from the genuine and manage the intellectual property and digital piracy issues at hand.
The Information Technology Industry Development Agency (www.ITIDA.gov.eg) developing the IT industry in Egypt, hosts the lab at its premises. The agency is the executive IT arm of the Egyptian ICT ministry to enforce IPR related to software products and databases.
“Over the last couple of years, ITIDA’s IPR office has undertaken comprehensive actions to increase IP enforcement with all the stakeholders like the economic courts; i.e., judges and prosecutors, police officers, and copyright owners”, said Dr. Mohamed Hegazy, Egypt’s IPR Office Manager.
Aiming at developing the necessary skills, the fully dedicated IPR office has delivered extensive training and capacity-building programs in legal, technical and practical aspects during 2017 to more than 900 police officers, 97 journalists from the National Broadcasting Authority, 125 employees from different software companies, in addition to 473 judges and prosecutors in the economic courts.
“We are committed to sustaining our success in combating IP infringement and expanding IP rights. The launch of this lab enables us to achieve our targets”. “Only in 2017, we have delivered technical expertise reports of 96 cases to the economic courts, registered 203 computer software programs and issued 267 licenses for the first time.”, Hegazy added.
According to the latest BSA-IDC Global Software Piracy Study in 2016, the Egyptian piracy rate reached 61%, a ratio lower than most of competing countries and leading global outsourcing locations including Morocco (65 percent), the Philippines (67 percent) and Vietnam (78 percent).
The Cabinet is preparing a data protection and privacy law draft. It has already agreed on cyber-crime law and awaits the Parliament’s approval to be enacted, according to Egypt’s state media.
Egypt is currently undergoing an unprecedented phase of development in all fields, which is largely attributed to sound policies, monetary reforms, and global partnerships.
With the sustained momentum that Egypt (http://TimeForEgypt.net) is gaining in the area of tech innovation and startups ecosystem maturity, the Egyptian government represented by the Ministry of ICT has put its free and open software strategy (https://EgyptFOSS.org) into action in 2016.
The newly adopted policy represents a paradigm shift in intellectual property rules as it provides an alternate software-licensing model while developing a healthy eco-system for software production and innovation.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA).
Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. He began writing in 1975 publishing The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues as Special US Correspondent for the Arab News ArabNews.com, at TheArabDailyNews.com, and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday, the Orlando Sentinel, Houston Chronical, and Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
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