The Kenya Copyright Board and the Kenya Publishers Association have seized over 10,342 pirated text books valued at Sh5.5million.
The association chairperson David Waweru the books were stored in several outlets within Nyamakima area along Cross Road within the Nairobi Central Business District.
“Piracy is a criminal enterprise that cannibalises not just the efforts and investments of authors and firms, but the national Treasury as well since the conmen and women operate under the radar and do not pay taxes.” Waweru said.
Out of the Sh5.5million of the pirated books recovered, the government revenue loss through unpaid taxes amounts to Sh627,792.
Out of the books seized, 1,804 copies of Sound and Read Book One were pirated, Primary Mathematics Book Five , Kigogo and Sound and Read Book Two followed at 1,590, 1194 and 1011 respectively.
The piracy cartel is said to involve pupils and students who steal books from school libraries which are then hawked on the streets at half price.
The association recommended the State Law Office and the Cabinet to expeditiously 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.
They also warned parents and school-goers to be vigilant on being duped to purchase illegal copies.
The pirated copies have poor print quality, poor binding with low quality glue and no thread sewing of the copies.
The seized books also had introduction errors, missing or mixed up pages, low grammage paper and old editions of books encased in new editions.
“The ministry of education should ensure that every school purchase of books not only has a purchase receipt, but that it is accompanied by an ETR receipt, according to the law. Kenya Revenue Authority should crack down on the pirates who make huge sales without reporting revenues or paying for taxes.” Waweru added.