Opinion, Editorial

Parliament passes Copyright Bill 2023

Appropriate policy needed to protect intellectual property

Published : 12 Sep 2023 07:55 PM | Updated : 12 Sep 2023 07:56 PM

The Copyright Bill 2023 was passed in the parliament on Monday aiming to protect the rights of original works in publications, film, digital works, drama, folklore, the arts and audio recordings. Articles and other works by a person who is under permanent or contractual employment or under assignment in newspapers or magazines will not be under the purview of this law, the Bill said. Public speeches will also be out of the purview of this law. The new law will replace the previous 'copyright act-2000'. The law is being enacted to ensure the intellectual right, saying that the government has taken the initiative to digitalize all the books of the central public library.

Particularly, the presence of folk culture in the copyright act is a substantial progress that comes after much debate, sparked by a copyright clash involving the Mymensingh Geetika song, "Sarbata Mangal Radhe," and the Sherpur-based folk band Shorolpur.

The new law will replace

 the previous 'copyright act-2000'

The new act presents an entire chapter dedicated to Securing Rights of folk-knowledge and folk-culture. Under this new bill, the copyright office should be able to execute specific tasks including issuing copyright registration and endorsing, permitting translation, discontinuing import of unlawful copies of any academic products, preservation of folk culture, counselling the government about copyrights, and contingent on incentives to the original artists.

Now, if any person deliberately disrupts or helps to violate the copyright of a film, they can be penalised. However, one loophole in this bill is no inclusion of newspapers, magazines, and public speeches. Government and legislators should have taken these platforms, especially print media into consideration of this bill. 

We often see duplication of newspaper and magazine content. Hence, strict laws should be introduced to put a halt to news media content duplication.