The Kenya Copyright Board (KCB) has destroyed 50,000 copies of pirated books worth Ksh5 million in efforts to fight copyright infringement in the country.
The 2.2 tonnes of secondary school set books seized from a Nairobi printing firm Kenafric Diaries Limited last year were recycled at Kamongo Wastepaper Limited after KCB obtained a court order to destroy them.
The Boards’ Executive Director Edward Sigei decried the rising rate of piracy, adding that the Board is putting more efforts to ensure that the publishing industry is protected. He said that no illegally printed book will be allowed to come into competition with genuine owners’ books.
He urged book buyers to avoid buying counterfeit books by looking out for identification tags which authenticate books so as to help prevent more piracy. The board and authors were however dissatisfied with court’s decision to fine Kenafric Diaries Limited Shs 200,000, terming it too lenient and falling far short of compensating for the piracy.
Tony Mochama, a Journalist and an author of eight books appealed to the National Assembly to pass the Copyright Amendment Act, which calls for a maximum fine of Ksh400,000 for an offense of piracy. He argued that intellectual theft is more expensive than property theft and that the government must be very keen on protecting authors who invest a lot of efforts and finances in writing and publishing.
Among the books the pirated books were Videmua Publishers’ Mshtahiki Meya; Ken Walibora’s Kidagaa Kimemwozea; Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s The River Between, Jomo Kenyatta Foundation’s Primary Mathematics and several copies of High Flyer Series revision materials.