Access to Information (a2i) in collaboration with the Bangladesh Copyright Office organized an inauguration ceremony for ‘e-Copyright system’ on 23rd August 2017 ,at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Protection of intellectual property and copyright has always been an issue that has been overshadowed by more pressing problems in Bangladesh. Lack of proper monitoring and systemization within the field has led to people taking the violation of copyright for granted, further leading to an ever increasing host of problems.
Intellectual property rights is an inherently sensitive issue, not fully understood by neither those needing to claim it nor those violating it. The country’s traditional approach to handling these issues at brick offices over the decades, with essentially little to no reforms had also stagnated its development.
Traditionally, to apply for a copyright, one would have needed to pay at least 3-4 visits to the copyright office in Dhaka, before they could even get all the details of the application right. The entire process would take around 30-40 days owing to communication gaps and system losses at multiple stages. The same could be said for cases filed against copyright infringement.
The e-copyright system has been developed by the Bangladesh Copyright Office using a2i’s Service Innovation Fund, with technical assistance from UNDP and USAID, in order to make the service more accessible to people all over the country, in the process developing a proper archive for materials and a verification procedure.
This means any individual or institution from anywhere in Bangladesh can now apply online for copyright of literature, drama, music, records, paintings, movies, radio programs, television programs, software etc. The online application forms can be accessed at the official website of the Bangladesh Copyright Office. Once the application is processed, the applicant will receive an auto-generated SMS mentioning the date of delivery.
The newly developed system is meant to encourage citizens to duly apply for copyrights for their intellectual property, and raise awareness regarding the issues surrounding copyright violations as well.