By Mohammad Abdulaziz
KHARTOUM, May 25 (KUNA) -- Elias Fathurrahman has been battling for five years over three court cases regarding book piracy and copyright, and manager of Madarek publishing house is almost certain this was all a waste of time.
Fathurrahman is one of famous publishing houses officials who fought against book piracy.
"The publisher's job has rules and abide by principles, but has recently saw individuals and groups who are not committed to these rules and ethics of this profession, and they want to make quick profits which affected quality and content of the book," he said in an interview with KUNA.
Book piracy is already inflicting severe damage to publishing houses around the world but it has devastating impact on book industry in Sudan, which was suffering from economic and political turmoils, forcing drop in publication of books.
"There have been a number of small printing agencies involved in piracy of books ... benefitting from weak (protection) measures and seek quick profits," said Fathurrahman, whose publishing house issued more than 450 books and was one of the big victims of piracy.
Violating copyrights is easy in Sudan and people could buy pirated books in bookshops or book markets, while union of Sudanese publishers is battling these breaches.
"We have tried many times to have legislations protecting intellectual property in all fields because we lack penalties," Nour Al-Huda Mohammad Nour Al-Huda, union's secretary general said.
The union, said said in a statement to KUNA, provided information for competent authorities about five printing agencies, three owned by foreigners, which were publicly and illegally copying and printing books in Khartoum but no avail.
"Piracy is ethically condemned because it violated copyrights laws. However it will keep on existing as long as book industry keeps suffering from high book price or lack of copies," Hatem Kanani, a journalist and poet, told KUNA.
Fathurrahman added that losses are huge as far as the book, authors and publishing houses are concerned. "This is added to cost of printing, distribution and designers," he said.
Hatem Elias, former secretary general of the author protection agency, said piracy was consuming intellectual production at different levels.
He added activation of laws and forming lobbies to protect intellectual properties were crucially needed.
Fathurrahman said legal proceedings "are a waste of time and money," and they were forced to shift to e-books in order to reduces losses. (end) mam.bs