2-year jail time for non-delivery of books by publishers: Ministry

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Publishers can face up to two-year jail term if they fail to deposit their books with designated libraries, according to Culture Ministry’s new proposal. The Ministry has also proposed to enhance the penalty to 500 times the cost of the book which was earlier equivalent to the value of the book. “The penalty may be increased to 500 times the cost of the book and provision for a 2 year jail term for non-delivery of books (by the publishers),” the proposal says.

As part of modifications proposed in ‘Deposit of Books, Newspapers and Electronic publications in Libraries Bill’ sent to the Legislative Department, the Ministry noted that the penalty clause has been made “more stringent to ensure compliance” and at the same time the procedure for “submissions is simplified and the number of copies reduced (for submission).”

Under the new Bill, only one copy of the publication is required to be deposited with the National Library and another copy with the State Central Library. Currently, the publishers are required to deposit a copy of every book at four different libraries. It was necessary to “expand the scope” of ‘The Delivery of Books and Newspapers (Public Libraries) Act, 1954’ keeping in view the “new trend of electronic publications and web publications”, according to the Ministry.

“Books published in electronic format are also brought under the ambit of the new Bill to keep pace with the changes in technology and publishing tendencies,” it noted. The Ministry has posted on the website the comparative statement showing provisions in the existing and the proposed bill and sought the comments from the stakeholders and the public on or before February 29.

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