Legal background

Scope and duration of copyright

Does copyright end immediately after the minimum period mandated by the Berne Convention? No
Literary and artistic works, excepting film and photography, are protected for 60 years after the author’s death; other works, including film and photography and government works, are protected for 60 years after first publication.
CA Chapter 5
Has a court or tribunal ever limited the exercise of IP rights under competition law, for example by imposing compulsory licensing or regulating royalties charged by dominant rights holders? In part
No competition law enacted. However, CA limits monopoly power of copyright holder.
CA Chapter 9 Para 50 and 51
Has a court or tribunal ever limited the exercise of IP rights pursuant to a bill of rights or similar human rights instrument, for example by preventing copyright from being used to stifle protected speech? Yes
The right of every citizen of freedom of speech and expression; and freedom of the press, are guaranteed, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interests of the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.
Constitution Article 39
Can databases of non-original material be reproduced without infringing a copyright or sui generis database right? Yes
CA does not specify anything about this
Are rights holders prohibited from excluding user rights under copyright law? In part
Applicable for works done before the CA enacted
CA Chapter 17 Para 105
Is computer software excluded from the scope of patentable subject matter?

Freedoms to access and use

By Home UsersIs there any general user right that is based on a set of balancing criteria, such as a "fair use" right? No
The Fair Use provisions under the Copyright Act contain no mention of general exceptions.
Is time, space and format shifting allowed (such as ripping music from CD to an MP3 player)? Yes
In limited quantities and for non-commercial purposes only.
Can consumers reproduce copyright material for their own use in the original format, for example for backup purposes? In part
Single backups of computer software may be kept as insurance against loss, destruction or corruption.
Can works be communicated to a limited public (for example, family and friends) without infringing copyright? Yes
Club, societies, social events and other organizations, etc. can use copyrighted works for the purposes of entertainment, education, etc.
CA Chapter 13 Para 72
For EducationMay students copy works for private research or study? Yes
CA Chapter 13 Para 72
Does any such research and study provision cover distance and online education? Yes
The provision makes no mention of distance and online education.
May translations of works be made for educational purposes? Yes
An application to avail the translation can be made out to the Copyright Board three years after the first publication of the original work.
CA Chapter 9 Para 52
May educators copy works for use in the classroom? Yes
The permission of the original publisher has to be taken.
OnlineAre temporary or transient copies, incidental to a lawful use, excepted from copyright? Yes
Does the law exclude or limit the liability of intermediaries such as ISPs for copyright infringements carried out on their network? No
No known laws protect ISPs in such a manner.
Is Internet access free of ISP filtering or monitoring for potential copyright-infringements? Yes
No law requires ISPs to conduct such monitoring. Law enforcement agencies perform their own monitoring by their authority.
By content creatorsIs there any protection for consumers who non-commercially remix or mash up copyright works? No
No law in the Copyright Act addresses this concern.
May computer software be reproduced or transformed for the purpose of reverse-engineering interoperable software? No
Nothing mentioned about this provision in the CA
Is the incidental inclusion of a work in other material permitted? Yes
Is there are copyright exception for parody or satire? Yes
Under Fair Use clause.
By the pressIs there a copyright exception for the news of the day? Yes
Acknowledgement is made to the original source.
May copyright material be reproduced for the purposes of review and criticism? Yes
May quotations be used for any purpose? No
Length of quotations must be reasonable.
By LibrariesMay libraries copy works if they cannot reasonably be obtained commercially? Yes
No more than three copies than be made.
CA Chapter 13 Para 72
May librarians copy works for users for the purpose of research or study? In part
Unpublished works preserved at a library can be copied for the purposes of research.
CA Chapter 13 Para 72
Are libraries allowed to make preservation or archive copies of materials in their collections? Yes
Can lending libraries operate without incurring public lending rights fees to copyright owners?
By disabled usersIs it permissible to copy or adapt work for the use of those with disabilities? No
This topic is not mentioned in the Bangladesh Persons with Disability Welfare Act 2001 or the Copyright Act 2000.
In public affairsAre laws excluded from copyright? Yes
Are other governmental works either excluded from copyright, or routinely shared under permissive licences? No
CA Chapter 13 Para 72 Point 3
Are the results of publicly funded research required to be published under an open access licence? No
Not mentioned in the CA

Freedoms to share and transfer

Do copyright owners have the right to release their works to the public domain, without any limitation on how those works may be used? Yes
Copyright ownership can be relinquished with just a notification sent to the Registrar of the Copyright Board.
CA Chapter 4 Para 22
Can public domain works be used without the need for any payment or registration of the use?
Does the law make special provision for the legal use of orphaned works? Yes
Orphaned works may be licensed by any individual.
CA Chapter 9 Para 51
Is parallel importation of copyright works permitted? No
Are there national programmes or policies to promote the use, production or dissemination of openly-licensed material such as free and open source software or open educational resources? No
Are there national programmes or policies that specify or promote the use of open document formats? No

Administration and enforcement

What is the maximum penalty for copyright infringement for an individual? The maximum penalty for copyright infringement for all, except films, is imprisonment for four years and a fine of USD2857. The maximum penalty for copyright infringement for films is imprisonment for five years and a fine of USD7142.The maximum penalty for publishing and distributing computer programs copied unlawfully from the original is imprisonment for four years and a fine of USD5714.The maximum penalty for using pirated computer programs is imprisonment for three years and a fine of USD4285. CA Chapter 15 Paragraph 82
What is the maximum penalty for copyright infringement for a corporation? In case of law-breaking by a company or corporation, the official in charge of the business transactions, the individuals concerned with the transaction and any other person the company identifies as involved with the crime are held responsible and the aforementioned penalties are applied according to the crime. CA Chapter 15 Paragraph 91
Is innocent infringement of IP treated differently by the law? In part
In case of computer programs, such a distinction is made in the law. However for other forms of intellectual property, no such distinction is made within the Copyright Act.
CA Chapter 15 Paragraph 82
Is the creation or distribution of devices that can circumvent technological protection measures (TPM) permitted, where such devices can be used for legal purposes? Yes
Not mentioned in CA.
Is the use of such devices by consumers or intermediaries permitted in the legal exercise of user rights? Yes
Does national copyright or consumer protection law require that the effect of TPMs distributed with copyright works be disclosed to consumers? In part
Consumer protection law was adopted in Bangladesh in April 2009, and may be applied to the sale of material without disclosure of TPM protection.
Are there cases in which the availability of injunctive relief for IP infringement is limited by the law on public policy grounds?
Does the law protect a user's Internet access from being suspended for alleged copyright infringement, except after a hearing in court? Yes
Are criminal sanctions limited to cases of large-scale commercial counterfeiting? No
Criminal sanctions are applied to all forms of copyright infringement. Even if it is proven in a court of law that the infringement was not for a commercial purpose, a minimum prison sentence may still be inflicted.
Are damages for copyright infringement limited to the loss sustained, rather than a pre-established or statutory damages award? Yes
The court determines the loss.
CA Chapter 14 Para 76
Is there provision to penalise the wrongful allegation of copyright infringement? No
The Copyright Act does not contain any provisions for penalties against wrongful allegations of infringement. There is a provision for appealing against specific decisions by the magistrates.
Is there provision to penalise the obstruction of consumers' exercise of user rights?
Does the patent system allow for pre-grant opposition?

Recent or upcoming changes

Summary of position

The Copyright Act of Bangladesh is not as comprehensive as it might be expected to be. It fails to touch upon many relevant issues of copyright law or intellectual property that it needs to. Despite the Act being approved rather recently, the Act addresses very little on copyright and its effects and influences on information and intellectual property on the Internet or with any other form of information technology.

To be relevant to current realities concerning copyright, the Act needs to be updated with a mind to keeping a balance between the rights of copyright holders and intellectual property creators and the common consumers. The law does not specify about open access and open knowledge paradigm. In many cases the law does not comply with the country's level of economic development, and prohibits the free flow of knowledge to protect large corporate interests.

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