February 21st, 2010

Photo Journalism: The Book Pirates of Peru

Over at The Guardian, there's a neat little article and slideshow about book piracy in Peru.  It was originally written in late January by  Daniel Alarcon and Claudia Alva.

Original article here: 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/gallery/2010/jan/18/book-pirates-peru

Go over and check it out.  It's a really mixed issue to me...on the one hand, they're stealing intellectual property and I'm really, REALLY against that.  But this is a poor nation, and one of the best ways for them to improve their lives is through literacy, and books are expensive!  Without a strong library system (and Peru's government doesn't seem to consider libraries any sort of priority) where else can people get books?

The first slide and paragraph of the article:
 



Book piracy exists all over Latin America and the developing world, but any editor with regional experience will tell you that Peru’s problem is both profound and unique. The combined economic impact of the informal publishing industry is roughly equal to that of their legitimate counterparts. Pirated books printed in Lima are shipped all over the country, and have been seen in Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, and as far away as Argentina. Here, an authorised edition of a Charlaine Harris novel on sale in Lima bookstore underscores the gravity of the situation. The red sticker reads “Buy Original”. Most new books printed in Peru carry similar appeals

Continue the article here...