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Egyptian cassette union takes aim at online IPR violators in Arab world

In an attempt to protect intellectual property rights (IPR), the Egyptian Cassette Production Union on Monday sent a list of websites that allow users to download copyrighted music illegally to the Ministry of Communications.

Union head Mohsen Gaber had earlier met with ministry officials in hopes of finding a solution to the problems associated with Egypt's local cassette market, especially those pertaining to IPR.

“This is the first tangible step towards solving the cassette market’s problems and protecting IPR and copyrights,” Gaber told Al-Masry Al-Youm. “During our meeting, ministry officials requested a list of all websites–whether local or international–that violate copyrights and we agreed that local websites would be shut down since they are within our reach.”

“As for international sites, access will be blocked from Egypt," he added. "This will solve half the problem since the Egyptian market represents some 50 percent of music sales in the Arab world.”

“The second step is Saudi Arabia, which represents 30 percent of sales in the region," Gaber noted. "If we succeed in convincing authorities in that country to shut down violating websites, we will have solved 80 percent of the problem.”

“This will leave the remaining Gulf States, which represent 10 percent of sales, and the remaining countries of the Arab world, which account for a further 10 percent of sales,” he added. “But we can't begin talks with other Arab countries until we first fix the problem in Egypt.”

“I'm a member of the International Federation of Intellectual Property," Gaber asserted. "All I have to do is officially notify the head office in London about any website using my company’s material and that website will be immediately shut down.”

“This applies to all countries with the exception of those in the Arab World,” he concluded.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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