Penguin Books seeks legal action against distributors of pirated version of book on Ace Magashule

25 April 2019 - 19:06 By Naledi Shange
Penguin Random House is exploring its legal options after the dissemination of Gangster State: Unravelling Ace Magashule's Web of Capture in a pirated electronic PDF format.
Penguin Random House is exploring its legal options after the dissemination of Gangster State: Unravelling Ace Magashule's Web of Capture in a pirated electronic PDF format.
Image: Penguin Random House

Penguin Books on Thursday said it wanted to take legal action against those circulating a PDF version of the book Gangster State: Unraveling Ace Magashule's Web of Capture, penned by journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh.

“We will take legal action against individuals who are circulating pirated copies, which may include criminal complaints once we have collected all the necessary information,” Penguin Random House said in a statement.

The controversial book is about ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and his alleged links to state capture in the Free State where he served as premier. Magashule has denied any wrongdoing. 

The publishing house said: “The distribution of the pirated copies …  infringes our copyright as well as that of the author, and it is unlawful in terms of the Copyright Act of 1976. We wish to make clear to the public that the only way to obtain an ebook legally is to buy it from an ebook retailer or to borrow it from an authorised ebook library,” the publishing house said.

“Any copying or distribution of a pirated ebook, or any forwarding of a link to the pirated ebook, is unlawful.”

Penguin Random House said it was unfortunate that some prominent individuals appeared to be encouraging the illegal distribution of the book.  

Myburgh also expressed shock at this.

“It is astonishing that a senior political leader and a top legal professional are amongst those who seem to encourage the sharing of illegal copies of Gangster State on a public platform like Twitter,” he said. 

Among the people who had asked for those with the PDF version to share it, according to a tweet, was  EFF leader Julius Malema.



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