The Business Software Alliance (BSA) applauded the verdict of the Court of Appeal for case number 2721/2007 issued on 16/10/2007, which has approved the sentence, given to a local vendor by the First Instance Court, of one-year in prison, a fine of one thousand Jordanian Dinars and confiscation of the pirated material.
The verdict comes at a time when software vendors are becoming more confident and optimistic about the measures taken to enforce Intellectual Property Laws in Jordan, which will enhance the Kingdom’s international reputation as a country that protects and promotes creativity and innovation.
With this verdict, Jordan is directly targeting pirates, insisting they put an end to their infringement of both local and international intellectual property. Intellectual Property infringement negatively impacts Jordan’s efforts to establish itself as a knowledge economy and improve the social and economic development of the Kingdom.
Aly Harakeh, BSA Eastern Mediterranean Spokesperson, said, “This milestone decision is a triumph not only for the copyright holders but also for the Jordanian authorities and the Jordanian Judicial System. The BSA applauds and supports the efforts made by the Jordanian authorities, particularly the National Library and the Judiciary court, in their fight against piracy.”
He added, “The National Library and its hardworking team, headed by Mr. Ma’moun Al Talhouni, have played a key role in reducing piracy and protecting intellectual property rights through meticulous and thorough inspection visits.”
The Chairman of the Jordan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA), Mr. Bassam Hajjawi said, “I commend the continuous and unrelenting efforts of the National Library and other government departments to enforce Intellectual Property laws in Jordan. This verdict marks the first time a sentence of this magnitude has been issued.” He added, “Previous sentences were too lenient, and the financial fines too minimal to discourage or hurt the pirates.”
He went on to say, “We are hopeful that taking such severe action will deter vendors from promoting or selling pirated products. This is unquestionably a step in the right direction”.
As part of its continuous campaign against piracy in Jordan, BSA will encourage all small and medium organizations to obtain licenses for their IT software during a specific period of time. Moreover, BSA will continue its efforts in spreading awareness to protect the intellectual property rights of both Jordanian and international software companies. All these efforts are considered essential in enhancing Jordan’s trade position internationally, in addition to encouraging investments in the Kingdom’s IT sector which will lead to more job opportunities whilst reducing brain drain from Jordan.
BSA praised the progress that Jordan has been taking with regards to Intellectual Property Rights. According to a study conducted by IDC, the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services and consumer technology markets, software piracy rates in Jordan declined by 2 points reaching 61% in 2006. However, Jordan’s piracy losses remained at $19 million. IDC will be issuing another market study at the end of January.