Wednesday, 14 October, 2009

Delhi police cracks down on book piracy

Pirate warehouse and printing press sealed

The Publishers Association and Association of Publishers of India have met with success in their anti-piracy effort against local a publishers and printer in Delhi. The raids that took place in Delhi over two days – 21 and 22 August 2009 were conducted following an investigation in which the PA unearthed a major book pirating operation covering consumer trade, academic and STM (science, technology, and mathematics) books. Many of these had been illegally reproduced and printed in preparation for the start of the academic year and were intended for sale both on the streets of Delhi and around the country.

The police raid was carried out on a number of targets including the printing press. Over 3,500 illegal copies of trade books were seized, including Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, Harry Potter titles and Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, all of which are established favourites in the Indian consumer market. Police also stopped the illegal production of three major academic titles, seizing 80,000 incomplete copies of these books as well as negatives and printing plates. Amongst the unfinished books were two software programming titles by Indian authors published by Tata Mcgraw Hill, and a GMAT guide published by John Wiley and Sons. The printing unit was closed down pending further investigation. An FIR under Section 63 and 65 of the Copyright Act, 1957 was registered at the New Ashok Nagar Police Station.

The PA and API state that illegal copying of textbooks and other titles has a lasting and irreparable impact on the investment their members make in reprinting their textbooks for the Indian market. In order to make them available at a reasonable price, these are purportedly published with the aim of enabling Indian students to access academic and educational material at a tenth of the US sale price.

Emma House, International Director of the UK Publishers Association said, “We are delighted the police responded to our complaint and swiftly took appropriate action. Illegal copying destroys the legitimate businesses of publishers who invest in measures to provide Indian students with cost effective access to UK and US published materials. We are extremely grateful to the Delhi police, and in particular Deputy Commissioner Anand Mohan, under whose command the raid was conducted with professionalism and skill.”

Sanjiv Goswami, President of The Association of Publishers of India said, “We congratulate the Delhi Police for their swift and effective action. Effective enforcement against illegal copying will further encourage international publishers to expand their low priced reprint program to benefit the students in India.”

The Publishers Association is a trade organisation serving book, journal and electronic publishers in the UK. The Association of Publishers of India is the representative body of foreign publishers to deal with all matters pertaining to the promotion and advancement of their presence in India and to protect the common interests of members and professionals engaged in publishing in the SAARC Countries. Naresh Khanna

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