On 23rd August 2017, the Access to Information (a2i) Programme of the Prime Minister’s Office and the Bangladesh Copyright Office under the Ministry of Cultural Affairs jointly organized an inauguration ceremony for ‘e-Copyright system’ at the Prime Minister’s Office. Honorable Minister for Cultural Affairs Mr. Asaduzzaman Noor, MP, was inaugurate the e-Copyright System as the chief guest. The special guests included Secretary to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs Mr. Md. Ibraheem Hosein Khan and Principal Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office Dr. Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury. The event was chaired by the Director General (Admin) of the Prime Minister’s Office and the Project Director of a2i Programme Kabir Bin Anwar.
Traditionally, to apply for copyright of any creative work, one needed to come to the copyright office in Dhaka. Again, there was knowledge gap among the applicants regarding which documents were required to be submitted along with their application. This created possibility for making mistakes in application requiring unnecessary visits to the office, thus adding up to the cost of application. Given the manual application process, the total process took between 30 to 40 days. There was no way to verify application with previously archived items which have already received copyright.
The Bangladesh Copyright Office used a2i’s Service Innovation Fund, launched with technical assistance from UNDP and USAID, to develop this “e-Copyright” system using which any individual or institution from anywhere in Bangladesh can now apply online for copyright of literature, drama, music, records, paintings, movies, radio programs, television programs, softwares, etc. They can access the online application form in the website (http://www.copyrightoffice.gov.bd/) of Bangladesh Copyright Office. Once the application is processed, the applicant shall receive an auto generated SMS mentioning date of delivery. e-certificate can also be requested which can be verified for authenticity. This e-service is expected to encourage more application for copyright and that the creative minded citizens of Bangladesh will have a better chance at protecting the intellectual property rights of their creations. The chief guest in his speech congratulated the a2i Programme and the Bangladesh Copyright Office. He requested the relevant entities to undertake necessary steps for promotion.
Service Innovation Fund is provided to quick and small scale innovation pilots that can simplify citizen service delivery. Upon successful completion, the prototype is scaled up nationwide. Among others, the Registrar of Copyright Mr. Jafor R. Chowdhury, the President of Bangladesh Association for Software and Services Mr. Mostafa Jobbar, the Policy Advisor of a2i Programme Mr. Anir Chowdhury and senior officials from the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, the Bangladesh Copyright Office, the BASIS and the a2i Programme, and media representatives were present at the inaugural session.