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Photocopying Educational Textbooks in Costa Rica



Photocopying Educational Textbooks in Costa Rica

Photocopying Educational Textbooks in Costa Rica


When Costa Rica signed the Free Trade Agreement with the United States of America it was obligated under that treaty to implement heavy criminal penalties for the violation of copyrights when photocopying books.

To comply with the Free Trade Agreement Costa Rica imposed penalties of up to 5 years in prison and fines equal to 500 times the base wage of a Costa Rican government worker.

However, with the average cost of a university textbook in the United States surpassing $120, adopting the current textbook policies used in the United States for Costa Rica would most likely mean that students would not be able to afford the educational materials. Costa Rica is a country that has traditionally placed the access to education as the top governmental priority and that is why the literacy rate in Costa Rica is above 98%.

In response the stiff penalties imposed by the Free Trade Agreement the Costa Rica Legislature this week passed in its first debate a proposed law which would protect against the abuses created by the Intellectual Property Laws.(Ley para proteger el derecho a la educación frente a los excesos cometidos en las leyes de propiedad intellectual)

If passed this law would allow the photocopying of educational textbooks by students for educational purposes and thus eliminate the criminal and monetary penalties adopted under the Free Trade Agreement which would have been imposed against students and the photocopy centers.



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