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The Egyptian government has announced plans to set up a specialist digitial forensic laboratory for improving the enforcement of intellectual property law and combating software piracy

Based in Cairo, the laboratory will be the first of its kind in the MENA region and, according to a statement from the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), the main aim of the laboratory will be to resolve business software and internet-based piracy cases using the latest technology for detection, analysis and reporting.

“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 [such as] judges and prosecutors, police officers, and copyright owners,” said Dr Mohamed Hegazy, Egypt’s intellectual property rights office manager. “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.”

Software piracy is a significant issue for Egypt – the 2016 BSA-IDC Global Software Piracy Study found the country’s piracy rate was 61 per cent. However, this is lower than other leading global outsourcing locations such as Morocco (65 per cent), the Philippines (67 per cent) and Vietnam (78 per cent).

As well as establishing the laboratory, the Egyptian government is drafting a data protection and piracy law. The cabinet has already agreed on the updated cyber-crime law and is now awaiting parliamentary approval, according to reports in Egyptian state media sources.

ITIDA, the executive information technology arm of the Egyptian ICT ministry, will host the laboratory at its premises.


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