GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Monday, October 1, 2012 – Less than two weeks after Guyana declared that it had to buy pirated textbooks to place in public schools in order to save money on its high educational bill, there has been a change in direction.
According to the Associated Press, Justice Rishi Persaud has granted an injunction against the practice and ordered local companies to stop selling pirated textbooks to the government following a complaint filed by the London-based Publishers Association.
Guyana officials have said that pirated books cost an average of US$3 compared to US$10 for original copies. Public schools in Guyana reopened three weeks ago and cater to more than 250,000 students.
The British-based Publishers Association accused Guyana of acting in direct contravention of local, regional and international laws.
“The Cabinet’s decision in Guyana to procure pirated textbooks for public schools is an indisputably illegal act. This decision is in contravention of Guyanese law, Caribbean law (CARICOM’s revised Treaty of Chaguaramas) and the international Berne Convention,” read a statement posted last month on the organisation’s website.
The lobbying body comprises of more than 100 top book publishers including Random House Children’s Books and Macmillan Education.
Prior to the new injunction, local companies have been photocopying books to sell to Guyana’s Education Ministry for more than a decade.