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Copyright of photos of Bangabandhu belongs only to the state: HC

Published : 14 Dec 2021 10:10 PM | Updated : 15 Dec 2021 01:20 PM

The copyright of pictures of Bangladesh War of Liberation, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family belongs only to the state.

The High Court bench of Justice Mamnoon Rahman and Justice Khandaker Diliruzzaman on Tuesday (December 14) ruled that no individual can take the copyright of the pictures of Bangabandhu and historical photographs captured during the liberation war. Only the state has the right to the pictures. 

The HC bench delivered the verdict with its observations after disposing of a rule issued against Nazmul Hossain, a senior reporter of Jamuna TV, in connection with the theft of intellectual property and copyright infringement of two books written on Bangabandhu.

Lawyer Anik R Haque moved for writ petitioner Barrister Syed Sayedul Haque Sumon, while Advocate Shah Manjurul Haque stood for journalist Nazmul.

Shah Manjurul Haque said that the writ petition was filed over the copyright of two books written on Bangabandhu. The higher court said that there was no clear law or provision on how to use Bangabandhu’s pictures and the pictures related to the Bangladesh War of Liberation. 

Not only the books but the pictures were also used in different books and the copyright of the books was given to the publishers. It is quite natural that the pictures were collected from the Liberation War Museum and the Liberation War Memorial Trust. From now anyone can’t claim the copyright of the pictures, but the copyright of the books belongs to the publishers or the writers. This is the observation of the court.

The lawyer also said that as per the verdict, now all the books that will be published with pictures of the liberation war and pictures of Bangabandhu’s family will be copyrighted of the state. 

No individual or organisation can claim the copyright. The court also said that since the books were printed on the occasion of Mujib Barsho, the ministry should complete the book activities by December 31. The books that will be published after that should express gratitude, from which the pictures have been collected.

On August 31 last year, the Supreme Court lawyer Barrister Syed Syedul Haque Sumon filed a writ petition in the High Court seeking judicial probe against journalist Nazmul Hossain in connection with the theft of intellectual property and forgery of books in the name of Bangabandhu.