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The Ministry of Education has instructed all principals to ensure that material from textbooks aren’t uploaded, photocopied or printed, given that such reproduction breaches the Copyright Act.

This follows a letter sent to the Ministry last week by lawyers representing the Book Industry Organisation of T&T (BIOTT) and the T&T Reprographic Rights Organisation (TTRRO).

The lawyers had warned that the reproduction of textbooks to facilitate education during online classes and distribution of material to parent, can cause the Ministry and teachers to be fined up to $250,000 and face up to 10 years in prison.

The Ministry’s letter was sent yesterday by the Chief Education Officer advising that “copyright material, which includes books, e-books, articles, computer programs, lectures, audio-visual work, drawings, translations, photographic work and illustrations, are not to be uploaded, photocopied or printed for use by teachers or for the preparation of packages for distribution to students.”

The letter noted that despite the new learning environment brought about by COVID-19, copyright laws still apply.