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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 00-03-05

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cynews.com/>


March 5, 2000

CONTENTS

  • [01] Firm pays up in software piracy case
  • [02] Akrotiri clean-up makes a better base for birds
  • [03] Eco-Schools project boasts some impressive results
  • [04] Free IVF treatment for thirty couples
  • [05] Kyprianou out of hospital today
  • [06] Two remanded after drugs squad bust

  • [01] Firm pays up in software piracy case

    THE Business Software Alliance (BSA) Cyprus, a software anti-piracy group, this week settled a civil suit against a local architect's studio for copyright infringement, according to Nicosia lawyer Achilleas Demetriades, legal adviser to BSA Cyprus.Demetriades declined to state for the record the name of the architectural firm, or the amount of the settlement.While the name of the firm remains unknown, The Sunday Mailhas learned that it paid ,2,000 in damages, ,1,500 in court costs and ,5,400 just to buy the original software, pirate copies of which it had acquired and was using illegally.

    Computer software piracy in Cyprus in 1998, the last year for which there are complete figures, cost software firms about ,18 million, according to BSA Cyprus data.

    Software piracy in Greece for the same year cost the industry about ,25 million, while worldwide it cost software designers roughly ,5 billion, BSA Cyprus figures showed.

    By comparison, North America lost $2.9 billion to software pirates in 1998; Germany lost $465 million; Britain lost $479 million; and France lost $425 million.

    To give an idea of just what this means, of the 188 countries of the United Nations surveyed by the BSA, Greece ranks 26th-worst, with a computer software piracy rate of 74 per cent.

    Cyprus is 27th on the BSA piracy list, meaning 70 per cent of all the software used on this island is stolen.

    BSA figures show that No.25 on the list, just above Greece, is Honduras, with a software piracy rate of 77 per cent.

    Turkey, Qatar, Bolivia and El Salvador all share mid-range piracy rate distinctions, meaning that 87 per cent of all the software used in these countries is pirated.

    But leading the list again is Vietnam, with a 97 per cent piracy rate, followed close on the heels by China, where 95 per cent of all the computer software is stolen, the BSA figures show.

    Not only is stealing others' intellectual property theft, pure and simple, but it also has other effects. Pirated software is a prime source of computer viruses, and it also costs merchants legitimate sales, which in turn costs governments VAT, which ultimately hurts everyone.

    Countries with high piracy rates also cannot expect software companies to provide all the product support services they might offer countries with lower software theft rates.

    Pirated software also means it's harder to get software upgrades, since their makers require an original, legitimate version of the basic program before they provide an upgrade for it.

    BSA Cyprus has begun special training courses for the Cyprus Police and Customs departments in anti-piracy training.

    In addition to the settlement against the architect's studio, BSA Cyprus has another case pending locally for software theft. And as its police and customs training progresses, it expects more.

    March 5, 2000

    [02] Akrotiri clean-up makes a better base for birds

    CYPRUS has at least one wetland habitat where the &gt;welcome= mat is out again for migratory birds, thanks to co-operation between concerned British servicemen at RAF Akrotiri and local villagers.

    It is on the southern tip of the Akrotiri base, on a main migration path for more than 200 species of birds that twice yearly journey to Africa and the Middle East.

    The whole area had been ruined by more than 25 years of illegal dumping, lack of water, excessive hunting of birds and other contamination and pollution.

    One of the worst-abused sites was the permanent water system in the Akrotiri Gravel Pits, locally known as the &gt;Merras=, on the peninsula's west side, adjacent to Akrotiri village.

    Many of the smaller pits were so polluted that they were beyond clean-up and had to be filled in. But the damage to one of the larger pools was reversible, thanks to the hard work of the Western Sovereign Base Areas (SBA) Conservation Group.

    The project's moving force was Sergeant Shaun Woodcock, who was aghast at seeing oil-soaked Little Egrets and Curlew Sandpipers foraging for food in the toxic waste of the largest lagoon.

    He decided the situation must be reversed, and at his instigation, SBA personnel soon began hauling debris from the water. But they soon realised the scale of the operation required outside help. So they drafted the Akrotiri Village Environmental Club for people and a dump truck.

    This was still not enough, so the teams acquired a bulldozer and two quarry- class dump trucks from builders Cybarco. With its extra muscle, the cleanup and landscaping of the rejuvenated lagoon took only two more days.

    To ensure this environmental &gt;vaccination succeeds, Akrotiri villagers are holding ecology-awareness meetings in local schools, including showing videos aimed at raising local environmental consciousness.

    March 5, 2000

    [03] Eco-Schools project boasts some impressive results

    By Martin Hellicar

    THE NUMBER of local primary schools and gymnasiums signing up to the Eco-Schools initiative has almost tripled over the past three years.The project can boast some impressive practical results.Eco-schools is a Europe- wide project pioneered by the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe (FEEE) and aims to encourage and acknowledge whole-school action for the environment.The project was introduced on the island by the Cyprus Marine Protection Association (CYMEPA) in 1997, when 16 schools signed up. The following year, 25 schools took part.This year, 46 schools have joined the programme. Gymnasiums, ten of them, are participating for the first time this year."The Eco-Schools programme constitutes a model which is capable of promoting and enhancing environmental education or education for sustainable development in a cross-curricular fashion," says CYMEPA secretary-general, Dr Michael Ierides.The idea seems to be working. For the 1997-98 school year, the Eco-Schools theme was water. A participating primary school at Kokkinotrimithia outside Nicosia managed to cut its water consumption by 71 per cent, for example. A primary school at Paralimni cut water use by 42 per cent and a primary school in the Nicosia suburb of Makedonitissa cut water use by 30 per cent.Water savings were made by collecting rain-water and spillage from school taps and by using well-water for school toilets.For 1998-99, when 25 schools participated, the theme was waste.CYMEPA says Eco-Schools managed to cut paper consumption by half and recycle up to three cubic metres of aluminium cans each.The programme works through the establishment of a school environmental committee which assesses the school's environmental performance and draws up a plan of action.Over a three-year period the committee, made up of both students and teachers, focuses on three issues in turn: water, waste and energy."It is a learning process whereby teachers and pupils co-operate to investigate and analyse the effects between man and the environment," Dr Ierides says.Part of the Eco-Schools idea is to get the community at large to join in the project."(The project) aims to help communities and individuals study their behaviour and encourage them to make responsible choices for satisfying their needs, as well as those of future generations," says Dr Ierides.As an added incentive for students and staff, CYMEPA awards successful Eco-School participants at the end of each school year.The Association, with the help of the Education Ministry and Pedagogical Institute, also organises a series of lectures on ecological themes for staff at participating schools.More than 3,000 schools in some 14 countries are currently participating in the FEEE Eco-Schools initiative.The Eco-schools project in Cyprus is funded by the Hellenic Bank.

    March 5, 2000

    [04] Free IVF treatment for thirty couples

    THE Cyprus Fertility centre is offering 30 free in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatments to needy couples.According to an announcement by the independent Nicosia clinic, the free treatments are being offered thanks to a donation from Edek deputy Takis Hadjidemetriou.The clinic has used Hadjidemetriou's money to establish a fund for providing free fertility treatment for less-well-off couples facing conception problems.A number of needy couples have already had children thanks to free treatment provided by the fund, the clinic said.To qualify for the free treatment, couples must have a combined income of less than ,10,000 a year.

    Application forms can be obtained by calling 02-766222.

    March 5, 2000

    [05] Kyprianou out of hospital today

    HOUSE president Spyros Kyprianou is today expected to come out of the London hospital where he last month had emergency surgery to rewire his sternum.Dr Rex Stanbridge, who carried out the operation at St Mary's hospital, said yesterday the 68-year-old Diko leader was well enough to be released.Kyprianou's health had shown a "significant improvement" over the past few days, state radio CyBC reported yesterday.The former President of the Republic is expected to stay in a London hotel for two or three weeks after his discharge from St Mary's, so doctors can continue to monitor his recovery.Kyprianou was rushed to London early last month after sutures put in his sternum following open-heart surgery in Ohio in January came loose during a coughing fit.The open-heart surgery was recommended by Nicosia doctors after tests showed weaknesses in one of the veteran politician's heart valves. The tell-tale tests were carried out after Kyprianou was hospitalised after a serious asthma attack late last year.An announcement yesterday from his party, Diko, said Kyprianou would resume his party duties "little by little" after his return from London.

    March 5, 2000

    [06] Two remanded after drugs squad bust

    NICOSIA District court yesterday remanded two drug suspects arrested at Pera Chorio on Friday after a police chase during which a warning shot was fired.Drug squad officers acting on a tip-off put the car the two men were in under surveillance at around 6pm on Friday, the court heard.One of the suspects tried to make a run for it when officers approached the car after it stopped outside the police station at Pera Chorio in the Nicosia district at about 6.30pm, police said. One of the police officers fired a warning shot over the fleeing suspect's head and he stopped.Both men were arrested and a search of their car turned up two small plastic bags containing about seven grammes of a dry plant material thought to be hashish, the court was told.Police also said they had found four cannabis plant seeds in the car.A subsequent search of the suspects' homes drew a blank.The two suspects, who were not named by police, are a 25-year-old from Latsia outside Nicosia and a 30-year-old from the Nicosia district village of Lythrodontas.The court remanded them both for four days.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 2000

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