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Burmese writers organize to protect works of prolific writer Paragu

Rangoon (Mizzima) – Hundreds of books written by one of Burma’s most popular authors have been subject to copyright infringement, but the works will now be protected by his friends in the literary community.

Artist Myo Khin (Htan Yeik Nyo), left, and writer Ledwinthar Saw Chit, right, are members of a committee to protect the late writer Paragu’s books from copyright infringement. Photo: MizzimaLawyer Aung Soe Oo said that a committee, called the “Literature Police,” would protect Paragu’s books from future copyright infringement and try to regain royalties.

Paragu wrote 145 books. The committee was formed to make the reprinting of his books more organized and systematic, to protect the works from future copyright infringement and to raise funds for the Paragu Shantiniketan Library. The writer died at the age of 89 on April 9, 2011.

“His books are commercially exploited,” said Aung Soe Oo, and the committee will conduct an investigation on copyright violations.

A ceremony to form the committee was held in Rangoon on Monday. Aung Soe Oo cited two of Paragu’s books, “Chitralekha” and “Visalee,” that were re-edited and distributed five times without permission.
The committee’s secretary Ye Htet said that the money earned will be donated to the Paragu Shantiniketan Library, which the late writer established.
“He wrote in his will that the money from his books should be spent for the library,” Ye Htet said.
Writer Ko Tar will chair the committee. The vice chairmen are artist Myo Khin (Htan Yeik Nyo); and writer Min Kyawt Shein; secretaries are writers Ye Htet and Than Soe Naing; the trustee is Dr. Khin Mu Mu; the legal advisor is Aung Soe Oo and other members are poet and editor Thura Zaw, poet Saw Wai and Zaw Min Aye (Moesanpan).
Poet Saw Wai said that the committee would first try to negotiate with people who breached the copyrights.
“Some bookshops reprinted the books because of large demand. They knew that the books were out of stock because they are very familiar with the literary community. We will negotiate with them to avoid filing lawsuits,” he said.
Meanwhile, a similar committee to protect the works of writers Shwe Oo Daung, Lin Yone Thit Lwin and E Kyar Kway has been formed.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 August 2011 11:42 )  

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