Govt, publishers in talks over “pirated” text books
By Zena Henry
Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon stated in a press briefing yesterday that the Government has engaged the representatives of publishers and editors on the issue of “pirated” text books and are working towards an amicable outcome to the issue.
Luncheon told media operatives that the Government and those representing producers and printing houses of intellectual materials, have come together, sharing mutual concerns on the issue and are looking forward to feasible results for both parties.
According to Luncheon the engagement between the two entities came as a result of two occurrences; one he said was, “… through litigation by representatives and publishers to have the commercial sector desist from producing photocopied textbooks for sale,” and the other, “…the willingness of publishers and representatives to engage the Government of Guyana on finding an amicable solution to the problem.”
Luncheon concluded that Guyanese will soon be updated on the outcome of such engagements so that text books could once more be available to Guyanese students.
Towards the end of last month, local Attorney Andrew Pollard moved to the High Court on behalf of the British Publishers’ Association, prohibiting local businesses from producing “pirated” or stolen copies of intellectual property by foreign publishers, editors and writers.
Several entities were served the court document resulting in the text books being unavailable to students. The Government had claimed that it was unable to afford the original text books and had thus awarded a contract for the production of the “pirated” text books.
Subsequent to this, President Donald Ramotar had approached the United Nations (UN) pleading with the international body to revisit legislation concerning the “pirated” texts. He claimed that the current copyright law was posing difficulty on Developing Countries and was hindering Universal education in poor countries like Guyana.