Pirated textbooks is “industrial issue” – Luncheon – British envoy responds

Pirated textbooks is “industrial issue” – Luncheon

Friday, 21 September 2012 – Demerara Waves

The government says it is in talks with textbook publishers and is unconcerned with the furore created by the opposition and media over its decision to buy pirated books.
This was relayed by Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon at a news briefing on Thursday, September 20, 2012.

“The engagement would have to be with the publishers, we’re not going to be worried with what the media and politicians say because the media and politicians do not figure significantly in our own handling of this matter.                

It has to deal with government, it has to deal with those from whom we procure these goods and those interactions I can assure you are ongoing, they have been and they continue, the interactions with the editors, owners, writers,” he stated

Government officials have conceded that they are breaking the 1956 Copyright Act- a situation that has come to light following government’s decision to invite tenders for the supply of primary and secondary textbooks that closely resemble the originals as far as possible. The government has argued that it is more concerned with getting good quality and price for its purchases.

Following last week’s statements from the government that the purchase of pirated texts was part of its policy the UK Publishers Association said it could initiate legal proceedings.

“In light of the official confirmation by the Ministry of Education that the procurement of pirated books is approved policy, publishers will now be assessing their legal options to ensure that an end is put to this unlawful behaviour,” International and Trade Director, Emma House said in a letter to local media outlets.

House deemed government’s decision “an indisputably illegal act” that violates Guyanese law, Caribbean law and Caricom’s Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

On Monday Dr. Luncheon pointed out that there were options for those who felt aggrieved by the government’s policy.

“I would want to believe that the procurement principles are public principles and when they are questioned I think that the specific facilities that are available to those who feel aggrieved and therefore I don’t believe that we should take on to any level of significance what politicians are saying.”

Also read:  British envoy engages Guyana gov’t on textbook piracy

 Injunction granted against textbook pirates

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