Sage, a leading global vendor of business management software, announces that it has won three court cases against pirate companies in Maghreb and in Francophone Africa. In addition to damages and/or fines totalling several thousand euros, prison terms were handed down
By judgment dated 6 March 2014, the District Court of Douala Bonanjo, correctional section, found Mrs MONKAM, Managing Director of the company MOZALE SARL, guilty of software copyright infringement. She was ordered to pay CFAF 2,031,000 in damages to Sage as well as CFAF 102,225 in court costs and a fine of CFAF 500,000. The court issued a warrant of commitment for 18 months’ imprisonment against Mrs MONKAM in the event of non-payment within the legally prescribed period.
Software and brand piracy is a global phenomenon with repercussions for software publishers, businesses and national economies. All of these groups suffer significant losses due to unfair competition by copyright infringers: destruction of jobs, loss of revenue, impediment to information technology innovation, etc.
“In spite of our market leadership, piracy continues to penalise not only Sage and our business, but also the growth of software publishing in Africa and the economic activity that would result from it”, laments Fabien Poggi, Manager of Sage’s Export division.
The deeply concerning statistics on the scope of the problem supply the proof. According to the latest study by The Software Alliance (BSA), a group of international software publishers, the rate of software piracy in the Middle East and Africa reached 59% in 2013 and is soaring in countries like Algeria (85%), Cameroon (82%) and Côte d’Ivoire (80%). These troubling numbers have shown no signs of dropping since 2009.
These court decisions follow a number of campaigns led by Sage, working together with other international publishers, to raise awareness of the issue among institutions. At the same time, Sage is informing the public and businesses of the risks associated with using pirated software – whether on computers, mobile devices or in the cloud – and of the need to implement software asset management programs. By enhancing operational effectiveness, such programs have a direct and positive impact on productivity.