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Booksellers on anti-piracy drive

- Publishers, wholesalers and stall owners warned against violation of Copyright Act

Aug. 12: Booksellers in the city, beware.

If the books you are selling are pirated, you may soon be banned from All Assam Publishers and Book Sellers’ Association, the umbrella organisation, which has taken up the issue in the interest of those in the publishing industry.

The association has decided to issue a warning to all publishers, book wholesalers and bookstall owners to desist from selling pirated books and would lodge police complaints against those caught selling these books.

The association has convened a meeting on September 1 in Guwahati to work out a plan to curb the growing problem of pirated books flooding the market, resulting in loss to the government exchequer as well to the publishing industry in the state.

The association will also launch a drive to tackle the problem.

“Book piracy is becoming a real cause of worry for us and we have information that many, who are new in the business, are resorting to the illegal act to increase profits. We have information that a Delhi-based racket is supplying pirated books. We will soon launch a drive against the problem and as the city is the hub of publishing business of our state, we will start it from here,” the secretary of the association, Dhiraj Goswami, told The Telegraph.

More than 300 publishers, wholesalers and retailers are members of the association, which has been organising the annual Northeast Book Fair in Guwahati for the past 13 years.

Piracy of books or unauthorised printing or reproduction of books is illegal in the country and punishable under the Copyrights Act, 1957.

The decision to launch the drive has been taken after nearly 2,700 copies of pirated NCERT textbooks from Guwahati railway station and Silpukhuri were seized last week.

“Piracy or unauthorised printing of books without copyrights is not just limited to textbooks. The Delhi-based racket is flooding markets here with illegally printed dictionaries, handbooks and other books. Recently, a popular publishing house at Panbazar caught a person for illegally printing the works of Nabakanta Barua and lodged a police complaint. So, we are keeping close watch against pirated books and will take strict steps together,” Goswami said.

He said piracy of books was emerging as a threat across the country.

“Publishing a book is serious business which entails a lengthy process. One has to really work very hard to get a book published and if someone prints that book illegally and sells them in the market, this will lead to loss to the writer, publisher and the industry as well. We all should understand this and join hands to fight piracy,” he said.

The association will also carry out a campaign against book piracy during the next edition of Northeast Book Fair.

“From this year, we will check the books being sold during the fair and if anyone is found selling the pirated books, we will bar them from taking part in the fair,” Goswami said.