MOROCCAN IT SECTOR EXPERIENCES RAPID GROWTH DESPITE WIDESPREAD PIRACY
The local Moroccan press has published a series of statistics on growth in the IT industry. This has been accompanied by an investigation by the Paris-based Middle East magazine Arabies Trends. Sales of PCs in Morocco have risen by 20%.
Unlike neighboring countries, Algeria and Tunisia, Morocco has experienced a considerable decrease in piracy levels. The International Planning and Research Center estimates that pirate software in Morocco reached 82% in 1994 but dropped to 58% en 2002. According to the International Planning and Research Center, the international rate is 39%. Morocco has achieved by active government controls.
The director of Microsoft responsible for North Africa was quoted by the magazine as saying that he respects government efforts to reduce pirating, noting that pirating only hurts technological development and the national economy.
After Morocco released positive figures on technological piracy rates, Nadia Ben Bahtane, the spokesperson of the North African Business Software Alliance (BSA), responded to an international study of 86 countries that claims that piracy has reached 84% in Algeria. Internationally, piracy is thought to cost software companies USD 30 billion annually. Bahtane conceded that in Algeria alone the loss to software companies is USD 58 million.
Under international pressure, the National Algerian Office of Author Rights together with the North African Business Software Alliance (BSA) have signed a memorandum of understanding and mutual collaboration to fight piracy. BSA works to protect author rights and therefore has an interest to be active in the campaign against piracy.
BSA will certain cover costs for the National Algerian Office implementing intellectual property rights. According to the agreements, this is only a first step to reverse the parlous intellectual property rights in the country.