February 1995 - In a recent meeting, the Iranian Government approved a computer crime law prepared by High Council of Informatics (HCI).
Crimes such as information theft, data alteration and data destruction, program damage caused by viruses, Trojan horses, worms, and logic bombs, hacking and unauthorized access are spelled out in the law. The new law outlaws the practice of illegal copying of domestic software, but it offers no protection for foreign products. All these crimes, according to new law, are punishable by fine, imprisonment or both. Those who develop or introduce any kind of computer virus get twice as harsh a punishment as other information age law-breakers.
Industry insiders believe that the law is a step forward, but are concerned that it doesn't address software piracy and other crimes involving foreign companies. Without this, the new law will not do much to persuade foreign computer companies to invest in the country or enter into partnership with Iranian companies. But HCI officials are still working on a draft of copyright law that directly deals with the issue.
February 1994 - Higher Council of Informatics (HCI), the top governmental agency to supervise all computer activities in Iran, has recently proposed a tax exemption for Iranian hardware and software industry.
According to the proposal "productive activities" will be totally exempt from tax for four to 10 years (12 years for less developed areas of the country). A 20% exemption is envisaged for the period after the full exemption. Software development is not officially considered to be a "productive activity", yet. HCI expects to make the regulations change, so that software, along with hardware, can benefit from tax exemption.
October 1992 - The country's High council of Informatic is working on a project aimed at preparing an early draft of copyright law later to be presented to parliament.
A total of 50,000,000 Rials has been devoted to this study which would last as long as 18 months. According to an interim report, two qualified groups of experts well-acquainted with software industry as well as judicial procedures, would separately work on domestic and international prospects of copyright law. The copyright laws of several countries, including those of Netherlands, United States, United Kingdom, France, and India would be carefully investigated. As it has been stated, the main aim of this law is to offer supports and protections for domestic software producers and developers. However, Iran will probably stay aside from joining to international copyright pacts and agreements, since a high amount of damages for the compensation of what has gone in past should be paid. When the law is enforced, it is predicted that the software industry will earn a bigger share of computer market than it has now.
September 1992 - High Council of Informatics has recently published a report of the actions taken by this council against the common practice of software piracy as far as it concerns the rights of Iranian software producers.
According to this report, the council is seriously pursue the lawsuits launched by domestic software developers to this council against those companies which illegally duplicate and distribute their products. Since Iran has not joined the international copyright agreement, the report says, the executive force of council only targets the domestic computer companies whenever they break into rights of each others. Whenever a lawsuits is filed, the council formally asks the accused company to give necessary explanation to clear the claim. Failing to do so, legal steps are being taken by council to bring these companies to justice. However, so far, except one case, with the help of council all trials have been stopped in very early stages as two sides agree on a solution.
The policy of High Council
of Informatics is to offer support for domestic producers of intellectual properties
in software and hardware industries, however foreign-made products are yet to
enjoy from similar protection.