Family members of eminent writer Humayun Ahmed have served Grameenphone with a legal notice for infringing intellectual property rights by using his four iconic drama characters commercially without permission.
The characters are – Baker Bhai from Kothao Keu Nei, Elachi Begum from Ayomoy, Sobhan Saheb from Bohubrihi, and Taiyab Ali from Ure Jay Bok Pokkhi.
Barrister Hamidul Mizbah sent a legal notice to Grameenphone on behalf of Humayun Ahmed's wife Meher Afroz Shaon, daughter Nova Ahmed, Sheela Ahmed, Bipasha Ahmed, son Nuhash Humayun and brother Zafar Iqbal.
In the legal notice, Grameenphone has been asked to remove the episodes within three days and pay the financial compensation to the members within 15 days. Otherwise, the matter will be taken to the court, said the heirs of the late author.
Reportedly, the mobile phone operator company launched a series of promotional campaigns in July 2020, titled "Kemon Achen Tara" and sponsored by Grameenphone, which was released and aired on the company's Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Grameenphone did not take any permission or license from Humayun Ahmed's family members or heirs to use the aforementioned characters for the programme that have accumulated more than three million views on social media.
Since Grameenphone did not comply with the obligations for this type of use, it resulted in a violation of the intellectual property law.
Meher Afroz Shaon, wife of the late author, said, "Among the many characters created by Humayun Ahmed, the characters of Baker Bhai, Elachi Begum, Sobhan Saheb, and Taiyab Ali are very popular and well-known which are still in the hearts of the viewers. Unauthorised and commercial use of all these characters is a clear violation of Humayun Ahmed's intellectual property rights and is in no way desirable."
"In order to protect the intellectual property of Humayun Ahmed, his family members will always do their best and rely on the existing law to do whatever is necessary," she added.