Copyright Bill 2023 passed in Parliament of Bangladesh

11 October 2023

Copyright Bill 2023 passed in Parliament of Bangladesh

Tangina Akter Liza, Associate, Rahman’s Chambers, Dhaka

The Copyright Bill 2023 of Bangladesh, which seeks to replace the Copyright Act 2020, was passed in Parliament in September 2023.

“The Copyright Bill 2023 is another step closer for Bangladesh in terms of meeting the challenges that come with its upcoming graduation in 2026 from [a least-developed country] into a ‘developing’ nation,” said Tangina Akter Liza, an associate at Rahman’s Chambers in Dhaka. “The soon-to-be-enacted Copyright Act 2023 aims to encompass, in addition to all its existing provisions, all the inevitable developments of technology and the literary works of artists in both the physical and the digital spectrum.”

Among others, the bill extends its protection to ICT-related products, activities, databases and designs created by digital tools.

It contains new legal definitions of, among others, anonymous or pseudonymous work owner, database, public domain, producer, person, folk song and folk culture. Indeed, copyright protection of folk music, songs and culture has been recognized for the first time. In fact, one whole chapter in the Copyright Act 2023 tackles intellectual property rights for folk knowledge and folk culture.

The Copyright Bill 2023 also has a new clause for IP rights issues in connection with visually impaired persons in compliance with the Marrakesh Treaty.

“Aside from the new developments, the new bill aims to introduce harsher and stricter penalties for the prevention of piracy,” added Liza.

For publishing, serving or performing someone else’s content or work, the penalty is Tk500,000 (US$4,500). For infringing film copyright, the penalty is Tk1 million (US$9,000) and a maximum of five years imprisonment.

“There are also provisions for establishing a task force on enforcement of intellectual property law, which shall all be welcome changes under TRIPS and other IP-related international conventions,” said Liza.

The Copyright Bill 2023 also aims to strengthen Bangladesh’s Copyright Office. 

- Espie Angelica A. de Leon

Law firms

Please wait while the page is loading...