Copy centre raids net 13 arrests over textbooks
RCMP crack down on university textbook counterfeit businesses in Montreal
It was an attempt to put an end to the illegal sale and distribution of the photocopied books, the RCMP said Thursday.
In the last few weeks, police have found about 2,700 counterfeit books worth $540,000 in four copy centres located near universities in the city.
RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Luc Thibault said those arrested could be charged under the Copyright Act.
"It was well done; it was like they were real," Thibault said of the photocopied books. "They were taking a real book, making a hard copy and everything, and they would sell [it] back at a quarter of the price."
The RCMP investigation started when police received complaints from university presses that publish textbooks.
The Mounties said the photocopy businesses had been active for several years and made copies based on university course reading lists.
The Mounties said offences under the Copyright Act are punishable by fines of up to $1-million or imprisonment of up to five years.
Sivan Havusha, a third year social work student at McGill University, went to one of the stores that was raided recently to pick up a photocopied textbook.
"While I knew it was illegal, I was justifying it as: we're students; we pay so much for books anyway. If they can do this, it will save me a bit," she said.
When Havusha came to the store last week, there were 10 police officers inside interrogating employees. she said.
She said she never got her original textbook back.
"From that experience, I don't think I would do it again."