Kenya Publishers Association calls for an end to book piracy

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The Kenya Publishers Association (KPA) has identified Nakuru County as the melting point of book piracy in Kenya, a vice which the KPA says robs the country’s publishers of up to 40% market share .

According to the association, textbooks are the most important target because they represent 90% of the book market in Kenya and their sales are practically guaranteed.

KPA Chairman Mr. Kiarie Kamau regretted that in many cases pirated books are sold at the same price as the original versions because few buyers can spot a fake, adding that counterfeit books not only result in heavy losses for publishers, but also compromise the quality of education. .

Mr. Kamau said some of the pirated books contain errors that occur when scanning the original copies, thereby misleading learners.

“The books also have poor binding and printing quality. The text is illegible and unfriendly to learners. The growing threat is leading to loss of jobs for most professionals in the book publishing industry,” he said.

Speaking in Nakuru at the launch of the Kenya Literature Bureau’s Competency Based Curriculum Encyclopaedia, the President expressed concern that illegal books flooding most parts of the country were creating a series losses in the book supply chain.

“Most people think of publishing as printing. Publishing is a vast investment in content creation, editorial work, hiring book designers, warehousing, marketing, legal and financial aspects,” Mr. Kamau explained.

“Furthermore, the government loses value added tax on sales of untraceable books, while distributors and honest booksellers suffer from low sales and, needless to say, authors lose royalties,” he said. he adds.

He said that an anti-piracy campaign launched by the Kenya Publishers Association (KPA), the Kenya Copyright Board in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, the Anti-counterfeit Agency and the Kenyan police were in progress.

The KPA chairman advised parents to buy books from dealers who have electronic tax register receipts as this will prevent fraudsters from doing business. He said KPA has introduced security features that help schools and parents verify the authenticity of books.

The event was graced by the Director General of the Kenya Literature Bureau (KLB), Dr. Victor Lomaria, and the Rift Valley Regional Director of Education, Jared Obiero.

Dr. Lomaria observed that in addition to disrupting the publishing industry, piracy also harms Kenya’s knowledge base.

“Piracy discourages authors who want to contribute to society by writing books, because their knowledge is lost to the rest of us. At KLB, we offer security elements (flow charts) that are integrated into the seal of the book. We are also asking the government to write to all schools asking them to buy books from stores that give them electronic tax register receipts,” he said.

Dr Lomaria said the content of the KLB Grade 4, 5 and 6 Competency Based Curriculum Encyclopedia has been regulated by the government on technical specifications through the Kenya Institute of Labor Development. program (KICD) to comply with the new program.

In the digital age, Mr. Obiero pointed out that piracy has evolved and copying has become easier. According to him, electronic files can be created and disseminated on the Internet in a relatively short time.

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