San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Government postpones signing of a decree that would allow student photocopying

A decree by which Costa Rica’s government sought to resolve an ongoing dispute over a law to allow photocopying of books for academic purposes was not signed Wednesday as expected.

Justice Minister Fernando Ferraro announced that the executive branch accepted a request from representatives of the movement “Photocopying to Study” – mostly university students – to study the decree before it is signed.

Ferraro set a Friday deadline for groups to weigh in on the proposed decree.

President Laura Chinchilla vetoed in September a bill that would have authorized the photocopying of books for educational purposes. The ban was approved by business chambers and publishers associations, but it generated discontent among thousands of students who protested against it last week in a march that ended in riots in front of the Legislative Assembly building. Damages to the assembly totaled $14,000.

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