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Sage wins three African software piracy court cases

Sage wins three African software piracy court cases.

Global business management software firm Sage says it has won three software piracy court cases in the Maghreb and Francophone regions in Africa.

Sage, which specialises in the likes of enterprise resource management (ERP) and customer relations management (CRM) software, says three companies in Africa have been “found guilty by a court of law for reproducing and/or using the Sage brand or Sage software illegally.”

“In addition to damages and/or fines totalling several thousand euros, prison terms were handed down,” says Sage in a statement.

One of the Sage cases involved a Mrs Monkam, managing director of a company called ‘MOZALE SARL’, in Cameroon.

Cameroon’s district court of Douala Bonanjo found her guilty of software copyright infringement in March this year, according to a statement from Sage.

“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,” says Sage.

“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,” notes the business software company.

Sage’s large market size has made it a target, according to company officials.

Gartner research has noted that Sage, for example, is the world’s third largest enterprise software player behind Oracle and SAP with $1.5 billion in sales in 2013.

“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”, says Fabien Poggi, manager of Sage’s export division, in a statement.

Africa; though, also has among the highest software piracy rates in the world.

The Software Alliance (BSA) says software piracy rates in the Mideast and Africa reached 59% in 2013. In countries such as Algeria, the rate is 85%, in Cameroon it is 82% and in the Ivory Coast it is 80%, says BSA data.

Meanwhile, the International Data Corporation (IDC) says that Zimbabwe has a 90% software piracy rate.

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