The last year’s Economic Survey was subjected to “brazen pirating” with plagiarised copies being sold on e-commerce marketplace Amazon, the Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian has revealed in the preface of the Economic Survey 2016-17.
“Last year, to its dismay, the Economic Division of the Ministry of Finance — the authors of this Economic Survey — discovered that there is indeed a higher form of flattery than imitation: brazen pirating, and that too on the most globally public of platforms, Amazon,” Mr. Subramanian wrote.
Asked about the issue in detail, Mr. Subramanian in an interview to The Hindu said, “Last year, after the Survey came out it was advertised on Amazon as the Economic Survey by some private party. They were charging money for it, while the Ministry of Finance had property rights over it. I think there was some action taken.”
In the preface, the CEA commented that this year, they strive to do better, risking that the Survey might be consigned to the ranks of popular fiction. “The anguish suffered by this violation of “our intellectual property rights was more than offset by the gratitude we felt in achieving wide circulation for the Survey,” he said.
Online marketplaces usually de-list products when such incidents are brought to their notice.
“Amazon.in is a marketplace that enables lakhs of SMEs in the country to access a nationwide customer base. Sellers are mandated to ensure the products that they list are original, genuine and legally permitted for sale in the country.
We have stringent policies by which counterfeit and pirated products are taken down, when brought to our notice. Amazon is more than willing to partner with Government of India to remove unauthorized copies of the economic survey,” an Amazon India spokesperson said in an emailed response.
As of now, a pirated copy of the last year’s survey was being sold at Amazon by ‘Young’ for ₹349. The product details listed the publisher as Global Young Publications; 2015 edition (2015).
Besides, the original two-volume set of the Economic Survey 2015-2016, authored by Ministry of Finance is being sold for ₹422.