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Kenyan publishers launch new system to fight piracy

Kenyan publishers launch new system to fight piracy

The Kenyan Publishers Association (KPA) has unveiled a new digital system that will fight counterfeit books in the market and block piracy gains which stand at Kshs 7 billion yearly.

The CHKTAG system will allow users to verify genuine books by sending a serial number, printed on book copies, to a short code and get a confirmation if the book is genuine. They system has been put up with the assistance of Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) and Brand ID Technologies from Europe.

Speaking to ITWeb Africa, Enock Maseru, Head of ICT at Moran Publishers in Kenya, explained the benefits of the system.

"The CHKTAG system allows law enforcement agencies and content providers to identify counterfeits from the genuine article. In addition, customers and other stakeholders in the distribution chain have an easy way of identifying genuine books. Publishers hope that the public will embrace the system and are looking at ways of providing incentives for buyers to encourage the purchase and authentication of genuine books," he said.

"This process can only be done once on each book. Publishers are able to manage this process from the system's back-end allowing them control as well as access to valuable market data," he added.

According to Maseru piracy or intellectual property is almost crippling the publishing industry by denying copyright holders their rightful earned royalties.

"Piracy has not only denied publishers of valuable revenue, it has robbed authors of their royalties, undermined the quality of books going out to the market and forced the price of genuine books to rise as a result," he narrated.

Maseru is confident that this new system will triumph over all other attempts to fight piracy in the publishing industry.

"Previously, despite efforts from KPA and other anti-counterfeiting agencies to fight this vice, publishers have, by and large, been forced into a reactionary position. The CHKTAG system, however, provides some control to content providers in curbing piracy," Maseru said.

Kenyan publishers will now be required to publish the unique serial number on every book copy that goes out into the market.

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