Embrace technology to fight piracy: Govt

Primary and Secondary Education minister Paul Mavima has said the government must come up with strict measures as traditional ways of fighting piracy in both the publishing and music industry have failed.

BY SHARON SIBINDI

Mavima made the remarks at the official opening of the Bulawayo Book Fair last week, as publishers decried the piracy scourge.

“[Please] strongly look into piracy, as publishers are suffering from piracy.

“There are people, who are busy selling our books without our permission, photocopying and selling them at very low prices and may you please look into piracy,” Anna Sibanda of Mambo Press pleaded.

In response, Mavima said the police and law enforcement agents were not the only solution to curb piracy in the age of technology.

“I have heard about this issue of piracy, which is not only happening to publishers, but also affecting the music industry.

“You seem to be suggesting police and enforcement, but I think we need to come together and craft an intervention that is not only related to the police,” he said.

“The music industry has suffered so much, but when you say police in this age of technology, it’s almost an impossible task.”

Mavima said publishers could take piracy head on by embracing technological solutions like eBooks.

“If we have licences, digitised materials and we pay through the book sellers, we pay the publisher then we can stamp out this piracy,” he said.


“Let’s come up with models that work.

“We have to come up with new teaching and learning materials, we need to move to the digital age as far as the provision, the delivery and the supply of teaching and learning materials.”

“We need to think in terms of generating content that can be used on e-learning platforms we have less and lee of that.

“We need to make sure they have come up with platforms like Amazon.com, where their materials can be made available and to the benefit of both the author and the publisher.”

Mavima urged school headmasters to only purchase learning materials from official book sellers and associations.

“I have also been in trouble, being taken to courts when our schools were found with photocopied materials.

“What I can say is never get materials that are not coming from credible book sellers, never go on the black market for teaching and learning materials,” he said.

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