Riyadh Abdul Aziz
Riyadh Abdul Aziz is a blogger interested in the relationship between the web and society who works as a legal researcher for the government of Oman. He is interested in technology, intellectual property, and law. You can e-mail Riyadh at firstname.lastname@example.org
Shopping on Instagram continues to be a popular trend in Oman that puts many consumers at risk. The Public Authority for Consumer Protection issued new regulations for the Consumer Protection Law earlier this month but failed to address this problem.
The Shura Council has existed as a publicly elected body since the 90s, but members of the public had no easy way to monitor the performance of their elected representatives except recently when the Shura Council started permitting members of the public to attend the sessions of the Shura Council and started using social media to publicise its activities and broadcasting its sessions in full on YouTube.
The penalties prescribed in the law for copyright infringement are outrageous and do not provide a solution to copyright piracy. According to the Omani Copyright Law, a person who infringes copyright protection may be imprisoned for up to two years and may be fined up to RO10,000. In Saudi, the fine for copyright infringement can go up to SAR150,000, and in Kuwait, it can go up to KWD50,000.
Many Omani government agencies have a very strong Web presence nowadays on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even on WhatsApp, but it looks like having an actual website of their own does not seem to be part of their digital strategy.
The Omani government does not produce cultural works with the expectation of receiving direct financial returns out of their production. Allowing us to copy government produced works and re-use them freely will be beneficial to society.