The move aims to discipline the use of cultural content on YouTube, Facebook, websites, and other digital media platforms
From now on, anyone willing to commercially broadcast and display audio, visual and palpable cultural content – including songs, dramas, literature pieces, movies, etc – on digital platforms must get permission beforehand from the government's copyright office.
The country's mobile operator companies are also being brought under the rule.
The move has been undertaken to bring discipline to the use of cultural content on YouTube, Facebook, websites and other digital media platforms – plus ensure royalties and duties for content owners and the government, respectively, officials of the Copyright Office said.
An inter-ministerial meeting with State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid in the chair has been called for 1 November to decide the issuance of specific instructions in this regard.
The meeting will be attended by officials of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and the Bangladesh Copyright Office.
Jafor Raja Chowdhary, registrar of copyrights at the Bangladesh Copyright Office, told The Business Standard that now anyone can earn a large sum of money by using cultural content, without permission, on various digital platforms. Copyright owners of this content do not get royalties from there. The government is also being deprived of revenue.
"The conventional copyright law does not say anything about obtaining permission or a licence from the copyright office for the use of cultural content for commercial purposes on digital platforms. That is why we are going to make it compulsory," he added.
The registrar of copyrights also said mobile phone companies are using cultural content – including ringtones and songs – as their value-added services. But artists and cultural activists are getting small or no royalties from them.
The Indian copyright law provides for the licensing of pieces of literature, music and sound through its copyright board. A similar section will be added to Bangladesh's relevant law in order to address anarchic situations while using illegal content on digital platforms, officials of the copyright office said.