There are issues in Saudi Arabia which are constant subjects of criticism, always result in new government investigations or programs, and never actually get resolved. Two among them are ‘runaway maids’ and ‘piracy of intellectual property’. The arguments over them have been going on since at least the early 1980s and efforts to address them are always announced. Yet… they continue. It just might take the efforts of Bastian Balthazar Bux and Atreyu to fix them once and for all.
Saudi Gazette runs a piece on the maids. This article, which originated in the Arabic daily Al-Madinah, tries to separate the responsibility for the problem into two: The System and The Employer. Within The System, it seems to include factors of human nature – for instance, that people tend to go to work for whomever pays them best, even if it means breaking laws. The Employer, meantime, does not avail himself of what protections The System offers. The writer neglects to mention that The Employer can also create conditions so awful that no human being would willingly accept them.
The never-ending drama of runaway housemaids
Fayez Saleh Jamal | Al-Madinah newspaper
EPISODES about runaway maids have exceeded in their numbers as compared to episodes of TV serials that crossed hundreds. It seems that this trend is a non-stop one.
In my view, the reason for this is the mismanagement of the employment mechanisms for housemaids and inaction on the part of some of the concerned officials. This has resulted in aggravating the problem of runaway maids which often proves beneficial for these maids. I am not denying that we citizens have a role to play. Nearly 80 percent of this problem is due to the prevailing system, rules and regulations and the official procedures while 20 percent is because of the lack of cooperation on the part of citizens.
The other issue, copyright piracy, gets picked up by Arab News. Here, the writer notes both the monies lost to those who validly hold or license copyrights and trademarks as well as the costs piracy imposes in terms of lost business upon those who try to make legally competing products. Globally, the article states, piracy costs businesses $58 billion per year. As Saudi Arabia increasingly enters the technology market, both as consumers and creators, it wants to stop the loss. And so, a new law. Whether this law will be enforced any more rigorously than the numerous laws that preceded it… well, that’s still to be determined.
New law enacted to stamp out piracy in Saudi Arabia
Riyadh: Rodolfo Estimo Jr.
Tuesday 5 June 2012
The new Unfair Competition Law (UCL) has been enacted to step up the campaign against piracy in Saudi Arabia, according to the Kingdom’s Business Software Alliance (BSA) representative.
“The new law also promotes fair competition, encourages manufacturers to respect property rights in IT systems and eliminates the unfair competitive advantage obtained by manufacturers that use stolen IT in business operations,” Mohammed Al-Dabaan told Arab News exclusively. He made the announcement yesterday in the wake of the 6th Annual Government Officials Conference on Copyright Protection in Arab Countries, which wound up Monday at Riyadh’s King Fahd Cultural Center.
He said UCL eliminates the unfair competitive advantage gained by manufacturers who use stolen IT in their business operations. “Moreover, it encourages respect for property rights and fair competition through public awareness and safeguards responsible business practices across multiple manufacturing industries,” he said.