Copyright Infringement: Gambian writer claims over $100 000 in damages


A famous Gambian writer and a historian has filed a civil lawsuit against three Gambian teachers who have allegedly plagiarised a collection of her books on the country’s history.

Patience Sonko Godwin is seeking an amount of about $100, 460 dollars in damages against one E. Charles, Mohammed J Kebbeh and Muhammed T Jobarteh.

However, the presiding judge at the High Court in Banjul today deferred her case against the trio to another date due to the absence of the third accuse person, Muhammed T Jobarteh.

Godwin is claiming over $25, 115, D1, 000 000, for damages against the defendants on her book, “Ground work history of The Gambia”, to be paid over a period of ten years.

The writer is also claiming damages of D3, 000 000, over $75, 000, to be paid in a period of ten years over her works:  “Understanding Gambian History, Senior Secondary School History Text”, “Trade in the Senegambia 2nd edition” and “Development of local industries” .

The historian also requested for the National Centre for Arts and Culture and the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education to retrieve her books/ pamphlets from circulation and have them destroyed.

The case was adjourned to March 2, 2016.

Copyright infringement is a big issue in The Gambia.

But despite the commonness of the act, copyright infringement is a criminal offence in the country.

Barely a month ago, one teacher at a Gambian school has written to admit he has plagiarized Godwin’s book, thus accepted to apologize on a national newspaper.



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