The importance of formulation and implementation of intellectual property right law in Bangladesh.
Under intellectual property law, owners are granted certain exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs. Common types of intellectual property include copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights and trade secrets in some jurisdictions.
The areas that have been covered by the intellectual property right law are related to the operation of a country as these things come in almost every new step a government, an organization, a firm, a company or a person takes. It is important in the sense of providing security and ensuring ownership where financial concern plays the most important role. Besides, in the cases of general law and regulation of a country it has importance two as crime, violence, terrorism are now quite attached to these areas. Moreover if we talk about politics, intellectual property right law has its importance two. We understand the matter that in a developing country where pressures come from both inside and outside the country these things are very sensitive and often rules and regulations are broken in maintaining transparency in these cases. Corruption and violation of law are also very common. As Bangladesh is a developing third world country, naturally, we often see such evil activities taking place. So, the importance of formulation of intellectual property right law and ensuring its implementation are very important for Bangladesh.
Economic and Safety Issue
In a free market economy anything anything brought to the market is supposed to make profit for the owner. Competition is an important factor here. So, everytime the competitor tries to bring upgraded product so that they get preferences from customer. For the new comer the upgraded product is very important. As information technology is very cheap and available now, the piracy has become open secret. As a result, the owner is losing his/her expertise or techniques to a rival party or new comer easily and facing economic loss. A very small piracy of information is now creating uncertainty and tension among the competitors of every sector. As the implementation of intellectual property right law is not that much strong in Bangladesh, the victims often publicly express their opinion through electronic and print media.
Example: The ongoing quarrel between “Bijoy” and “Ovro”, two software companies in Bangladesh, regarding the use of programming language and Unicode can be taken as the result of the poor implementation of property right law in Bangladesh. Mostofa Jobbar, a well known personality in the field of information technology in Bangladesh introduced the “Bijoy” software so that computer users can write Bangla using the present lay-out of key board. In 1990s this software got huge popularity as at this period IT started to be familiar in our country. The use of Bangla alphabet was only done by “Bijoy” at that time. It got a huge success in business but it has a lacking and that is its installation process in computer. Typing a joined letter through this software was a complicated process. After 2000, a new typing software called “Ovro” was introduced in the market. It is quite easy to use as it has a on screen key board and an individual doesn’t need to use the key board in typing Bangla. Moreover, it can convert a word written in English to Bamgla. Besides, the graphical presentation is also better as well as its installation process. For these reasons, “Ovro” has able to achieve the attention of computer users and this has stopped the domination of “Bijoy” and its business as well. Mostofa Jobbar claimed that the programmers of “Ovro” have used the Unicode system that he used in “Bijoy” without notifying him. He also claimed that a significant portion of “Ovro” is pirated and that is why it should be banned or re programmed immediately. The owner of “Ovro” is denying this complain and continuing its business.
The above matter is still unsolved because of the poor implementation of intellectual property right law. Mostofa Jabbar claimed that he had patent for his software but though he has proof the he couldn’t do anything or get any help from court.
Bijoy, Ovro – Bangla typing software using the Unicode system
Unicode – the capability of a computer program to place some packet of data in a common set of signal so that the output is same regardless the difference of input.
Programming Language – the input signal that will be converted into a visual interface
In industries like steel, cement, plastic, motor and motor parts, garment, knitting, agriculture etc the violation of intellectual property right law is not that much common as it is in IT, literature, music, arts in Bangladesh. So, the importance of property right law should be realized because:
§ The survival of the music producing companies and artists depends on the implementation of property right law. The banning of duplicate copies of music CDs, movies, and drama can save the producers from incurring financial loss.
§ IT sector is growing in Bangladesh. The software companies can bring a good amount of foreign currency by exporting software. Without ensuring the security they will not be able to survive.
§ Implementation of intellectual property right law is very important in the medicine industries. Alost all the well branded medicines are produced illegally and in improper way with ingredients in imperfect mixture. The groups behind this illegal activity take the chance of poor financial condition of the people and market the adulterated medicines in a cheaper price and get profit. Almost every day we get news of death of several people for using this adulterated medicine. Implementation of property right law will treat these criminal groups of people well and thus such practices can be stopped.
Issue of Culture and Literature
Some common problems
§ In the market novels, books, poems, stories and other written works are sold in the name of famous writers. The books are sold but inside these things there are cheap works which public read and express a negative attitude for our culture. Sometimes the unknown publishers copy the books on a bad quality paper and sell them. Thus the original publisher suffers from financial loss and the writers also become disappointed.
§ The financial loss is also incurred due to the online availability of the famous novels. Some websites make the PDF version of the novels and publish them online without any royalty fees.
§ Historical work are also copied and published in the market. Writers of these pirated books use wrong date and place in the book which may confuse the reader and create wrong concept in mind.
Due to the improper implementation of intellectual property law cyber crime can happen in Bangladesh.
§ The interested party may open online space where they advertise their product in the name of a well known manufacturer.
§ They may hack the manufacturer’s website and start providing negative information to make the people confused. The rival group may hire cyber criminals and ask them to publish wrong information in online to destroy the image of the competitors.
§ Interested parties may collect all the popular novels, dramas, poems of the famous writers and make onscreen PDF version of those documents. They may establish an online server of these documents and offer people to read freely. They may even charge a very few amount for reading online which will save their money. If so, then people will be motivated to read novels online. This will hamper the selling of the books and cause financial loss to the publishers and writers.
§ Some interested groups may offer the online readers to edit the novels, dramas and poems and then they may publish it too. As a result two books of same title and same writer but with different materials may become available in the market. If this happens, the situation will be miserable for both the producers and the writers. The people may lose their interest from a particular writer which will ultimately affect the culture as well.
§ There are some novels that are written exclusively for the adult. Interested parties may film them and post them online which will destroy the appeal of the original work and create problem for the writer.
We can see that the improper formation and implementation of intellectual property right law in Bangladesh will create problem in all creative works. For culture it’s a great threat. It may make the culture impure and that will be a serious problem as we will lose our identity and morality. Besides, the financial loss is also huge due to this criminal activity. If there is a cyber crime the situation will be horrible as through internet the crime will spread all over the world in a second. Strict implementation of intellectual property right law will discourage the criminals to do this. So, implementation is very important. In sensitive issues like culture and literature the punishment should be well enough so that the other criminal groups can realize the pain. But the most important thing is the awareness of the people which will stop piracy. The people should not take anything valuable from any unauthorized party. The government should not only formulate law but also take steps to make the people aware about piracy. Every people should know that they have the right for everything they have inside or outside.
1. HG.Org: Worlwide Legal Directories. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. http://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=20278
2. Articlebase: Free Online Articles Directory. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. http://www.articlesbase.com/law-articles/existing-intellectual-property-laws-in-bangladesh-and-proposal-for-reformations-1273014.html
3. Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights: Bangladesh Context Naimuddin Ahmed. Web. 29 Nov. 2010. http://www.lawnet.lk/docs/articles/sri_lankan/HTML/CV11.html
4. Financial Express. Web. 29 Nov. 2010.
5. Law and Our Rights. Web. 29 Nov. 2010. http://www.thedailystar.net/law/2006/01/03/education.htm
6. Alternate Solutions Institute. Web. 29 Nov. 2010.
7. Intellectual Property Laws and Reform Proposal. Web. 29 Nov. 2010. http://www.bdnewsarchive.com/news/odetails.php?id=191880
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