The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Book piracy racket busted

Ranchi, Aug. 10: In a first operation of its kind, police here raided six different buildings in the state capital and recovered “pirated” text books and “guides” valued at several crores. Six people were also arrested.

In a gross violation of intellectual property rights, the “pirates” printed popular books published by NCERT, Bharati Bhavan, S. Chand, Oxford University Press among other publishers. Poor quality paper, shoddy printing and missing chapters marked the pirated editions. They also did not have the publishers’ hologram. Priced lower than the original, they are, however, lapped up by buyers, among them students and parents.

But not only do the genuine publishers, who invest a lot of money, lose out but also the authors, who lose out on royalty and the students, who have to put up with missing chapters and poor printing, pointed out a volunteer from Delhi, who had tipped off the police. He, however, refused to identify himself.

The volunteers from Delhi, describing themselves as the Baba group, claimed to have been active for the past 10 years and busted cases of book piracy in different parts of the country.

Acting on a tip-off by a group of volunteers and publishers from Delhi, police swooped down this afternoon on a four-storeyed house near Ranchi Hill and five old bookshops, four of them near the radio station on Ratu Road and one in the Upper Bazaar area.

The building, Shiv Bhavan on Kamlakant Road, was stacked with pirated copies on all the floors. The building-owner, Madanji, is believed to be the king-pin and even his bed had compartments stacked with the books.

City-based publisher Vishwajit Kumar of Laxmi Publication Ltd had filed an FIR at Sukhdeonagar police station, alleging that pirated copies of its publications are being sold in the market. But today’s raids did not yield any book published by his firm. “ It is possible that pirated books of this publication is dumped elsewhere,” said a police officer.

The book trade in the state hailed the raids and hoped that police investigation would also implicate the printers who abet the illegal trade. A partial crackdown will be ineffective, said a publisher, unless the errant printing establishments are also penalised.

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