Copyright board seizes Sh5.5 million pirated textbooks in Nairobi swoop

Some of the books seized by the copyright board at various go-downs in Nairobi this week. /EMMANUEL WANJALA
Some of the books seized by the copyright board at various go-downs in Nairobi this week. /EMMANUEL WANJALA

Publishers have asked KRA and the Ministry of Education to end the illegal trade in pirated textbooks.

This followed the seizure of 10,000 books worth more than Sh5.5 million at Nyamakima and Ngong Road.

The books were found in go-downs during a swoop by the Copyright Board on Tuesday and Wednesday.

David Waweru urged the ministry to compel schools to buy books from dealers who have ETR receipts.

The Kenya Publishers Association chairman on Friday said this will keep the fraudsters out of business.

"The pirates make good sales without reporting revenues or paying taxes," Waweru said.

He said pirated books not only cause publishers to incur heavy losses but also compromise the quality of education.

Waweru said some of the pirated books contain errors that occur during scanning of the original copies thereby misleading learners.

Some of the books have contents crammed from old editions which are encased in covers of current editions, he said.

"The books also have poor binding and print quality. The text is illegible and unfriendly to the learners," he said.

Waweru asked the AG's office to facilitate a copyright bill for the enactment of stricter laws that will protect creators.

"The bill proposes heavier penalties for culprits of textbook piracy and will serve as a deterrent," he said.

Story Moja founder

Muthoni Garland asked parents to be vigilant when purchasing books.

She said they have introduced security features which will help them ascertain the authenticity of books.

"It is similar to what is used on airtime scratch cards," Garland said.

"A buyer only scratches to reveal the book's serial number then send the code to a toll-free number," she said.


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