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.
The Guyanese government has not contacted publishers to discuss supply of legitimate books. This makes the government’s claim that this illegal action is justified by concern over price totally redundant and disingenuous, if not hypocritical.
The real victims of the government’s actions are the Guyanese children, who are now being provided with sub-standard resources by the Ministry of Education. In light of the official confirmation by the Ministry of Education that the procurement of pirated books is approved policy, publishers will now be assessing their legal options to ensure that an end is put to this unlawful behaviour.
International and Trade Director
The Publishers Association