Copyright board wants the government to fastrack draft copyright bill  to curb piracy

Kenya publishers Association chair David Waweru together with other members displaying pirated books at the copyright board head offices in Nairobi PHOTO COURTESY
Nairobi,KENYA: The Kenya copyright board has called on the government to fast track processing of the draft copyright  bill to increase penalties for people who  infringe copyright laws.
In a joint press statement in Nairobi, the copy right board CEO Edward Sigei and  the Kenya publishers association  chair David Waweru urged the government to hasten the bill into law terming tough penalties as a measure required to  reduce mass losses the publishers undergo in the industry.
“We recommend that the state law office and the cabinet to hasten the processing of the draft copyright bill with a view of enacting it into law as soon as possible to increase the legal penalties for copyright infringement.”
The bill is currently at the state law office.
As a measure to curb piracy in the education sector Mr Waweru urged the Ministry of education to ensure that schools purchase books from registered  suppliers and acquire ETR receipts as per the requirements of the  law  so as to ascertain the  authenticity of the suppliers.
He also urged the  Kenya Revenue Authority to crack down on the pirates who make huge tax free profits.
“Piracy is a criminal enterprise that cannibalizes on  not just the efforts and investments of authors and firms but the national treasury as well since the con men operate under radar and do not pay taxes.” He said.
On Wednesday the board  carried out a crackdown at Ngong and Nyamakima surburbs in Nairobi where 10,000 books with a net worth of sh 5 million were recovered.