Cape Town-based Paperight, a network of print-on-demand bookstores, with over 200 outlets throughout South Africa has partnered with Riso Africa, to launch an initiative to enable schools to download and print their own textbooks helping publishers and the government’s efforts to distribute textbooks and past exam papers and revision study guides to schools.
The firms will empower schools to print their own textbooks as long as they have a paperight.com account and a Riso printer.
Parents and teachers can download and print books as needed and printing learning materials through Paperight is completely legal.
According to Arthur Attwell, founder of Paperight, “Publishers really want to solve the problem of access to books in South Africa.So they allow our network of schools and copy shops to print out books in return for a small licence fee.”
Riso and Paperight aim to spark this revolution across the country. Sonia Anderson, Marketing & Environmental Manager for Riso Africa said, “Our ComColor machines let schools print out textbooks for less than their retail price, bound and in full colour. A 600-page textbook prints and binds in 6 minutes.”
Riso has an environmental advantage as its machines require very little power and run off a UPS, making them perfect for schools where electricity is unreliable.
Under the deal, Riso will contribute towards the publishers’ licence fees on behalf of schools that use their machines and schools that enter into a contract with Riso Africa will receive a pre-paid paperight.com account so as they can use to legally print books, study guides and past matric exam papers. Paperight already offers over 1700 different books, including titles from Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press.
In February, Paperight was officially congratulated by Parliament, whose endorsement “acknowledges the importance of making published works easily accessible to millions of people throughout Africa; and … encourages publishers to register with Paperight in making their works accessible to all.”