Cameroon: Court Finds Three Firms Guilty of Software Piracy in Africa

Author:Vera Luijten

August 04 , 2014

THREE companies have been found guilty of reproducing and/or using Sage software illegally on the continent.

Sage, a leading global vendor of business management software, said it has won three court cases against pirate companies in Maghreb and in Francophone Africa, which is also in addition to damages and/or fines totaling several thousand euros, prison terms among others.

According to the firm in a statement on Monday, by the judgment dated March 6, the District Court of Douala Bonanjo, correctional section, Cameroun, found Mrs. Monkam, Managing Director of the company, Mozale Sarl, guilty of software copyright infringement.

The statement disclosed that Monkam 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.

Sage also informed that the court issued a warrant of commitment for 18 months' imprisonment against 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, and impediment to information technology innovation, among others.

Fabien Poggi, manager of Sage's Export Division, commented, "In spite of our market leadership, piracy continues to penalize not only Sage and our business, but also the growth of software publishing in Africa and the economic activity that would result from it."

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 percent in 2013 and is soaring in countries like Algeria (85 percent), Cameroon (82 percent) and Côte d'Ivoire (80 percent). These troubling numbers have shown no signs of dropping since 2009.

Sage disclosed that these court decisions follow a number of campaigns led by it, 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.

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