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    Govt to launch $30m anti-piracy drive

    So what you think will it do something about piracy intesive market like pakistan??


    Govt to launch $30m anti-piracy drive

    By Aslam Khan

    ISLAMABAD: The government is set to become a blanket legal user of licensed products in its offices in a new anti-piracy drive that independent experts say is too ambitious and akin to a shot in the dark.

    The government has ordered the implementation of intellectual property rights on all the computers in use in all the offices that fall under its realm in an exercise that will cost up to an estimated $30 million, sources here told The News.

    The IT [information technology] and Telecom Division of the Ministry of Science and Technology has formally issued guidelines for the implementation and protection of intellectual property rights as well as purchase of licensed hardware and software and software development.

    Made available to The News, the ministry circular dated April 20 says the following two policy guidelines should be adopted for immediate application in all government offices: I) all software - for standalone as well as server-based computers - to be used in government offices will henceforth only be licensed, freeware or open source software; ii) all server systems in government offices should be Linux-based operating systems.

    The IT and Telecom Division will, however, make exceptions on a case-to-case basis. The ministry notification has also been forwarded to the President Secretariat and the Chief Executive Secretariat, both headed by General Pervez Musharraf. The government has no idea how many computers are in its use, and even senior officials express ignorance as to the numbers involved.

    Detailed discussions with government and private sector experts show that the move to make the government a piracy-free institution is too hasty and stacked with too many odds for the plan to succeed.

    For starters, even top officials in the ministry concede they don't have a clue as to how much the whole exercise will cost. "You tell me. We will be grateful if you can tell us the number of computers in use in government offices," Salman Ansari, the IT Adviser to the Ministry of Science and Technology said when approached for an official estimate.

    "The last time that we did a survey to find out the number was in 1995 and a lot has changed since," he added, admitting that it was high time the government found out the number of computers in its use.

    Memuna Amjad, the public relations office of the ministry, and Saeed Ahmed, the managing director of the Pakistan Computer Bureau, when contacted by The News, also expressed ignorance about any official estimate of computers in government's use.

    However, when contacted, Jawad Rehman, the country manager for Microsoft in Pakistan, said his estimate was that the Pakistan government had about 50,000 computers being used by its various offices at the beginning of the year. "My estimate is that this is the number of installed computers being used by the federal government's ministries, divisions, corporations, agencies, offices of the central government in the provinces, etc," he said.

    Agreeing that the computer prevalence in the public sector was on the low side, Jawad said on an average about 350,000 computers were being imported into Pakistan every year of which only a quarter were branded and had licensed or legal software installed in them.

    "One of the biggest problem regarding the spread and promotion of IT in Pakistan is piracy," the Microsoft Pakistan manager said. "Although awareness in the past two years on the issue has increased, a lot still remains to be done and Microsoft is doing a lot of work on this."

    When asked if Microsoft was behind the government decision to legalise all hardware and software in its offices, Jawad refused a direct answer, but admitted that Microsoft had presented several proposals to the government to achieve this goal.

    While he refused to divulge details of the proposals, saying they were still being discussed, he said Microsoft is ready to offer substantial concessions to the government in return for a pledge and practical response to combat non-compliance with intellectual property rights.

    He said Microsoft was a major loser because of non-compliance of intellectual property rights in Pakistan as Microsoft share in software use in the country was in the "high 90s as a percentage."

    "If the government is ready to enforce strict anti-piracy measures, we will offer limitless use of Microsoft technology in the public sector as well as free technology to the education sector," he said.

    Independent sources said if the estimate of 50,000 computers in government use is correct, then it will cost the government $30 million to convert all these computers to install legal MS Windows and MS Office in all of them at a cost of $600 for both software in each computer.

    Officials in the Ministry of Science and Technology refuse to confirm or deny the figure of $30 million as the cost of the drive to make Pakistan the first country in South Asia to be the blanket user of licensed software. They concede they have no way to determine the number of computers in the absence of basic statistics.

    "It is strange that even the Ministry of Science and Technology is unaware of how much its anti-piracy drive in government offices will cost and that in the absence of such a basic requirement, a project that is virtually open-ended in terms of cost has been approved," a top government official remarked, requesting that he not be named.


    http://jang.com.pk/thenews/may2002-d...ain/main14.htm

    ------------------
    End is Begining!
    پاکستان پاکستان

    #2
    This is not going to help at all. But oh well...

    ------------------
    Iím just a freedom fighter
    No remorse
    Raging on in holy war
    Soon thereíll come a day
    When youíre face to face with me
    You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!

    Comment


      #3
      well piracy is mostly done by students and small companies everywhere in the world.
      In Pakistan many medium size companies also do piracy including the government offices.

      so by this atlease govt will get licensed software.

      to reduce cost they should all get corporate licenses.

      for common user, Microsoft and other companies should reduce the cost of license according to market purchasing power. that will also reduce the piracy.

      for govt part it also has to IMPLIMENT tight copy right laws

      ------------------
      End is Begining!
      پاکستان پاکستان

      Comment


        #4
        Yeah that means cutting the black economy. Wasting money on liscense and stupid stuff like that when we need it for education and infrastructure development.

        ------------------
        Iím just a freedom fighter
        No remorse
        Raging on in holy war
        Soon thereíll come a day
        When youíre face to face with me
        You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by CM:
          Yeah that means cutting the black economy. Wasting money on liscense and stupid stuff like that when we need it for education and infrastructure development.

          Well, I think that it would be quite naive to say a thing like that.
          I think that its about time that the Govt. of Pakistan realised that its better to go for an enforcement of WTO laws relating to TRIPS rather than face quota embargoes in the future.

          If a private company like Pulse Global can do it for videos, atleast the Govt.of Pakistan can try to implement it in a setor or two!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by CM:
            Yeah that means cutting the black economy. Wasting money on liscense and stupid stuff like that when we need it for education and infrastructure development.

            when it comes to tax or anything like that we all think its wastage of money.
            how can govt ask companies to stop piracy if itself is not free of that charge?


            پاکستان پاکستان

            Comment


              #7
              Does Pak has intention to do so for Indian films also. Afterall piracy and Intellectural Property Rights are international menace. Will Pak help India and itself in this regard?

              Comment


                #8
                India went through this in lie 1995 - and onwards.

                I remember there was a big police raid in MG Road Bangalore, where most of these pirates set up shop.

                I think Desis find it hard to believe a bunch of floppies or CDs cost so much!!

                They think they are being cheated!!!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Whatever they do, they can never get rid of piracy in Pakistan. The price of a software CD is now as low as Rs.15!!! The blank unbranded CD costs Rs. 8 in bulk and there are numerous mass cd copying plants, (dvd copying plants are reported to have been imported).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    It was said that major software companies like Oracle and Microsoft are spending a fortune lobbying in Islamabad for the government to crack down on piracy. They are threatening that they will not invest in Pakistan any more unless the govt cracks down on rampant piracy.

                    The flip side is that the rapid development of computerization in Pakistan is also credited to the fact that software (pirated) is available so cheaply in Pakistan. If the government cracks down on this, would a student be able to afford Rs 5,000 of Microsoft Office (as an example).

                    The government wanted assurity from these big software companies that they will offer reasonable and special prices for Pakistani consuments so that our budding computer literacy is not dealt a death blow. These companies were unwilling to make such concessions, and so the issue was kept in limbo. The carrot offered by the software companies was that we will establish computer colleges and development facilities all over Pakistan to provide jobs to the students.

                    This benefits of this particular "carrot" are unknown.

                    The logisitcs of the government actually been succesful in such an effort are euqlly ambiguous. Plus there is very little will on the part of law enforcement to successfully carry out such a major under-taking.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by dhir:
                      Afterall piracy and Intellectural Property Rights are international menace.
                      Do you seriously think so??


                      Comment


                        #12
                        It would be better for us if we scrapped the copyright laws.

                        There would be more competition in the market place . The consumer would have a larger choice of operating systems and other software which also be a lot cheaper. The companies wouldn't have it so easy.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Rbee:
                          Do you seriously think so??
                          On second thought and soul-searching - NOT REALLY. It is basically something made by the Developed, for the Developed and of the Developed.

                          Comment

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