Groningse kopieerwinkels aangepakt

Een aantal Groningse copyshops moet van de rechter stoppen met het verkopen van gekopieerde studieboeken. Ze hebben verdere vervolging afgekocht bij de educatieve uitgeverijen die hen hadden aangeklaagd.

From people figures to flowers, cakes and originally designed beads, Christine Liran Shan, a second-year MSc student in science communication, has made hundreds of clay art works during her first year in Delft. Yet these are no ordinary clay works of the potted variety, but rather extremely small and delicate  people figurines standing less than four-centimeters tall and painted in various colors, replete with fascinatingly expressive eyes and features, each unique and with its own story to tell.

“I call her Evangeline, the actuary,” Shan says, picking up a purple-haired female figure wearing a blue business suit and thick, black-brimmed glasses on her serious-looking face. “And this one’s Ethan, an agent of Indie Pop,” she laughs, holding a male figurine with rugged features and wearing sunglasses.
Shan draws her inspirations from daily life: “When I’m on the train, for instance, I’ll observe the patterns on ladies’ shirts and expressions on people’s faces. Then I’ll make small people figures based on my impressions.”
For Shan it all started in 2008 during her biology research training in Beijing, when a friend gave her some soft clays as a birthday present. A few months later Shan brought the clays with her to Delft. At first clay works was only a hobby for her, a way to kill time and relax. “But then it kind of scaled up,” she says, “I felt strong desires to share my work with other people, especially with Dutch people.”

Last year, on Queen’s Day, Shan took her first big step towards showing her works to a broader audience when she stood on the streets of Amsterdam all day, holding a pizza box full of her miniature clay works. This bold, self-promotional effort proved hugely success, as many passersby stopped to marvel and buy her works, earning her more than 100 euros in sales that day.
Several months later Shan arranged to have some of her small people figures and beads sold at the Tibet shop in Delft – but this following several disappointing encounters with other Delft accessory shops unwilling to display her wares. “I don’t want to leave my works where the shop owner only focuses on business and has no appreciation of beauty and creativity,” she says, defiantly. “In this sense, Guzang, the Tibet shop’s owner, and I have lots in common. Recently I’m more into creating accessories, like beads for bracelets, necklaces and earrings, and hope to attract more people with my new designs.”

Miniature clay works require lots of dedication. Shan spends hours coming up with fresh ideas for the patterns and designs of her sculpted clay flowers, before beginning the laborious process of using small tweezers to arrange the designs in patterns and attach the tiny, delicate petals to the tiny flower buds. Later she bakes her art in an oven, a process that takes several hours, including cooling and hardening.

Despite her success at the Tibet shop and her friends’ suggestions she make her art a business, Shan says her clay works will remain a hobby. “I don’t ever want to turn my hobby into an ‘over-burdened’ business, where I must start worrying about promotions or channels to import materials. I do clay works when I feel like it, and that’s it.”

Shan usually works in the corner of her living room, where she can sit by the window and gaze out into the canals while making her designs: “I also love to create things besides clay works. I’m into logo design, drawing cartoons and all sorts of handicrafts as well. When I put my hands on them I totally sink into the process of creation.” 

“My art is really a kind of communication,” she adds, gesturing toward the windowsill where her works are displayed. “It’s a way to communicate my love of this world, especially towards those who gave me a lot of support, like my professors and international friends I’ve met here in Delft.”
Nowadays many of Shan’s clay works take pride of place on her friends’ desks in Delft, and while miniature they surely express great love.    


Vorig jaar al werd Delta Copiers in Enschede betrapt op illegale kopieerpraktijken. Algemeen directeur Eric Razenberg van uitgeverij Pearson Benelux is bang dat de Groningse kopieerwinkels niet de laatste zullen zijn die betrapt worden. “Het schijnt nog altijd niet door te dringen dat dit gewoon een misdrijf is.”


De kopieerwinkels adverteerden volgens hem niet met hun handel, maar hadden onder de toonbank wel een lijst liggen waaruit studenten een kopie van een studieboek konden uitkiezen. “Ze betaalden een kwart van de officiële prijs. Dat brengt de ontwikkeling van goede leermiddelen in gevaar.”

Samen met Noordhoff Uitgevers gaat Pearson “alle mogelijk rechtsmiddelen” inzetten om het illegaal kopiëren van studiemiddelen te bestrijden.

Redacteur Redactie

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