Software Piracy Crackdown or ICT Human Rights Violations?

Where the Government in Pakistan, Intellectual Property Organization, Federal Investigation Authorities and the Business Software Alliance BSA are initiating a crackdown on Software Piracy in Pakistan, there is hardly any awareness of piracy and its implications within society apart from members of the IT Industry. It is crucial to the basic Human Rights of the citizens of Pakistan that they first be provided Anti-Software Piracy Literacy and trainings on Free and Open Source Software as an alternative to pirated software. ICT Software Freedom is their basic human right in the Information Society!

(FOSSFP Global Software Freedom News Alert) In an interview session conducted by a private nationwide radio channel FM-100 on 17th April 2006, BSA Middle east head Reza Al-Reda has revealed that BSA and Federal Authorities (IPO & FIA) will carry out a massive crackdown on organizations using pirated software in Pakistan.

Reza revealed that a truce has been announced under which Pakistanis have been allotted a time duration from April 20th 2006 till 20th May 2006 to delete pirate software/illegal software from their machines, after which, pirated software users will face heavy penalties under the national copyright laws being enforced by the Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan. The real threat comes from the fact that the Pakistan Government has not formally announced these activities on national mass media sources leaving the public at large unaware of this activity.

Where FOSSFP is struggling to create mass awareness on Software Piracy, its implications and guiding the citizens of Pakistan towards Free and Open Source Software, the Government or BSA are going to carryout an activity that may deprive Pakistanis to their basic human right to use and benefit from ICT Software Freedom. In a country where the population is well over 160 million, 47% literacy rate with a very small fraction of the population capable of understanding English language, ICT is still alien to a large amount of the population.

FOSSFP has discussed the issue with global Pakistan satellite TV channels and Dr. Shahid Masud of ARY Digital has shown interest to voice this issue on the network provided that a significant amount of concern on the implications of this Anti-Software Piracy activity is voiced. FOSSFP is sending out an appeal to global Civil Society and organizations in the FOSS Community to take action and buy time from the Government of Pakistan to educate the citizens of Pakistan about Software Piracy and its alternatives as provided by FOSS and Ubuntu-Linux.

To send your concerns to ARY Digital TV, kindly send and email to Dr. Shahid Masud at or Help stop the next biggest Human Rights violations in the emerging Information Society, help educate Pakistanis on Software Piracy and its alternatives, help promote ICT Software Freedom for Everyone!

FOSSFP: Free and Open Source Software Foundation of Pakistan

Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan

Pakistan Software Export Board – IPR Information Section

Business Software Alliance

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