April 1 marks a worldwide celebration when everyone gets a “valid” reason to make practical jokes, hoaxes, and pranks to others: April Fools’ Day.

While everyone does their silly shenanigans and hilarious gags, nothing is funny about being fooled by counterfeit and pirated books, whether you are a bookworm, a booklover, or simply just a casual book reader.

In the first nine months of 2021, the Intellectual Property of the Philippines recorded 134 complaints of counterfeiting and piracy in the country. This is a 56 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

Additionally, 103 cases of counterfeiting and 31 reports of piracy were filed, and out of the total number of piracy charges, 15.6 percent of these were illegally distributed e-books.

Furthermore, most counterfeiting and piracy transactions were done online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Considering the presented data, it is truly alarming that anyone can be a victim of counterfeit and pirated books and e-books.

So, what now? How can we prevent ourselves from entering the trap of purchasing fake books?

Consider these eight general tips from Stop Counterfeit Textbooks, a webpage dedicated to aiding book distributors and others to avoid counterfeit textbooks:

  1. Know from whom you are buying.
  2. Know what you are buying.
  3. “Statements of authenticity” are not a cure-all.
  4. When buying on the Internet, read the feedback.
  5. Identify and monitor suspicious patterns in customer activity.
  6. Ask the publisher.
  7. Maintain records.
  8. Don’t enable counterfeit suppliers.

Several bookstores in the country, like us here at BookSpine PH, ensures a trustworthy book-buying, selling, and donating experience by providing a safe and secure platform. Moreover, we strongly prohibit selling of counterfeit (illegally replicated and/or reproduced) and pirated books.

At the end of the day, being responsible and vigilant readers entails us knowing how to spot counterfeit and pirated books. This information can help us prevent further damage that these may cause to the publisher and authors of the material we are reading.

So while April Fools’ Day is a free pass every year for everyone to fool around with, always keep a keen eye on fake books and you might just save someone from falling into one.

By Xander Cipriano – BookSpine PH Intern

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