What is Copyright

In the modern world, copyright registration is important to protect intellectual property. Now a day’s copyright registration has become a popular way to protect intellectuality in Bangladesh. This article will focus on the meaning, importance, relevant national and international laws, duration, process, time, cost and infringements of copyright and copyright registration.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Copyright (or author’s right) is a legal term used to describe the rights that creators have over their literary and artistic works. Works covered by copyright range from books, music, paintings, sculpture, and films, to computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps, and technical drawings. Copyright Subsists only in original works. The ideas in the work do not need to be new but the form they express must be an original creation of the author. However, it is important to understand that any ideas cannot be copyrighted, rather only the concrete form of those ideas can be copyrighted.

Copyright Registration in Bangladesh

Copyright Registration in Bangladesh

Classes of works under copyright

Copyright can be defined under different classes of works and the most common classes of works include:

  • Dramatic work
  • Musical work
  • Artistic work
  • Sound recording
  • Cinematograph film or movie
  • Broadcast
  • computer program

Importance of Copyright Registration


Copyright registration and obtaining a certificate is a way to get the legal title of any work and it helps the author or the copyright holder to get remedies both from the Civil and Criminal Courts. Under Section 60 of the Copyright Act 2000 (amended in 2005), the Register of Copyrights and the indexes shall be prima facie evidence of the particulars entered therein and documents purporting to be copies of any entry thereon or extract there from certified by the Registrar and impressed with the seal of the Copyright Office shall be admissible in evidence in all courts without further proof or production of the original.


Law on Copyright in Bangladesh 

  1. Copyright Act 2000 (amended in 2005): It is the present Act of Parliament that is protecting the copyright. It is providing the specific direction for copyright protection, registration, power and duties of the Copyright Office, Registrar of Copyrights and the Copyright Board. It is also prescribing the process for registration of copyright society. It is also mentioning when and how the copyright can be breached and its efficacious remedies.
  2. Copyright Rules 2006: This Rule provides specific directions for copyright registration, registration of copyright society, code and conducts of the copyright society, prescribed costs for applications and forms etc.

Duration of Copyright


Sections 24-38 of the Copyright Act 2000 (amended in 2005) deal with the term of protection as follows:

  1. Section 24: in cases of literary, artistic, musical, and dramatic works, the term is 60 years from the beginning of the calendar years next following the year in which the author dies (Life + 60 years);
  2. Section 28: in cases of photographs, the term is 60 years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the photograph is published (60 years from publication);
  3. Section 26: in the case of cinematographic film, the term is 60 years following the year in which the film is published (60 years from publication);
  4. Section 30: in cases of Govt. works, it is 60 years from publication (60 years from publication);
  5. Section 31: in cases of the local authority, the term is 60 years from first publication (60years from first publication);
  6. Section 27: in the case of sound recordings, it is 60 years from publication (60 years from publications);
  7. Section 32: in the case of works of international organizations, the term is 60 years from 1st publication (60 years from first publication);
  8. Section 33: in the case of broadcasting, the term is 25 years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the broadcasting is made (25 years from broadcasting);
  9. Section 35: in the case of performance, it is 50 years from the beginning of the year next following the year in which the performance is made (50 years from the first performance is made);
  10. Section 38: in the case of the published edition (typographical arrangement), the term is 25 years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the edition is first published (25 years from the first publication);
  11. Section 24: in case of joint authorship of a work, the term will be 60 years from the death of the last surviving author (60 years from the death of the last surviving author).

Apart from the protection of the above-mentioned works, Copyright Act also provides for the protection of broadcast reproduction rights for a term of twenty years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the broadcast is made (Section 33(2) of the Copyright Act 2000) and protection of performer’s rights, which extends to fifty years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the performance is made (Section 35(2) of the Copyright Act 2000).

Copyright Registration Process


Chapter 10 of the Copyright Act 2000 (amended in 2006) allows an author to register his or her copyright. This process is a combination of online and physical submission of applications and relevant documents. Copyright Registration can be done under several classes of works and as per the Copyright Office Online Registration Website these cases are  “mvwnZ¨ Kg©”, “msMxZ Kg©”,© “wkí Kg©”, “†iKW© Kg©”, “Pjw” PÎ Kg©”, “bvU¨ Kg©”, “mdU-Iq¨vi Kg©”, “†Uwjwfkb m¤cÖPvi Kg©”, “†eZvi m¤cÖPvi Kg©”, “I‡qemvBU, B-‡gBj I B‡jKUªwb· †hvMv‡hvMmn Ab¨ †Kvb gva¨g”.

Required Documents for copyright registration

 For registration in the name of an individual: 

  1. 2 (two) copies of the filed registration form (available in the online registration portal),
  2. 2 (two) copies of the original work,
  3. 1 () copy of the passport-sized photo of the applicant (attested),
  4. 1 () copy of the NID/Passport/Birth Certificate,
  5. If the content is software then it details usability/ if the content is artistic work then it explains the art/ if the content is a musical work then the name of the singer, composer and writer along with the list of the songs/ if the content is a literary work and already published then the cover work’s deed of transfer (if the author of the cover work is different than the author of the literary work),
  6. Treasury Challan,
  7. The undertaking of the applicant regarding the originality of the work,
  8. NOC from the related content creator(s) (where applicable), and
  9. If the right has been transferred from the creator to the applicant then a deed of transfer on 300 takas non-judicial stamp paper through a notary public.

For Registration in the name of a company: 

  1. Photocopy of the Memorandum of Association,
  2. Photocopy of TIN Certificate in the name of the Company,
  3. Photocopy of the Trade License,
  4. Appointment Letter of the authorized person from the company (photocopy of Form Ⅻ from RJSC), and
  5. Number 1-9 of the above.

Steps of Copyright Registration Process: 

Step-1- Treasury Challan:

Giving the government fee through Bangladesh Bank or Sonali Bank in the code “1-3437-0000-1841” or payment through SureCash can be made It is the first request step to start the online registration process.

Step-2- Online Application Process:

It is the first step to starting the copyright registration process. This application can be started through the web link “http://ipsitacomputers.com/copyright/#/login”. By using the link, the applicant must open a new account by providing the requisite information and once the account will be created successfully the applicant can proceed with registration.

An example of the online application process can be found in the web link “http://ipsitacomputers.com/copyright/#/demoformlitareture/1”. It is important to be remembered that the registration process for different classes has some different criteria and the class and sub-class of the work have to be corrected and selected properly, otherwise, the whole application can be cancelled or invalided by the Copyright Office.

After the application is submitted successfully, the online portal will automatically generate a digital application reference number and the submitted application need to be printed along with that reference number.

Step-3- Physical Application Submission:

After the successful submission and getting the printed copy of the application with the reference number, the application and above mentioned documents need to be submitted to the Copyright Office within 15 (fifteen) days from the successful online submission of that application.

Step-4- Delivery of Certificate:

After submitting the physical copies of the application and relevant documents to the Copyright Office, they will wait for the next 30 (thirty) days to receive any objection or complaint from any other party regarding the application. If no such objection or complaint is received by the Registrar of Copyrights, then he shall, if satisfied with the correctness of the application, enter such particulars in the Register and issue a certificate. However, any objection receives from any interested parties within a 30 (thirty) a days period or if the Registrar of Copyrights is not satisfied with the correctness of the application, he may, after holding such inquiry enter such particulars of work in the Register as he deems fit.

Infringement of Copyright:

Section 71 of the Copyright Act 2000 (amended in 2005) specified when a copyright can be infringed.

Under Section 71 (a), “When any person, without a license……-

  1. does anything, the exclusive right to do which is by this Act conferred upon the owner of the copyright; or
  2. permits for profit any place to be used for the performance of the work in public where such performance constitutes an infringement of the copyright in the work, unless he was not aware, and had no reasonable ground for believing, that such performance would be an infringement of copyright; or”

Under Section 71 (b), “When any person-

  1. makes for sale or hire, or sells or lets for hire, or by way of trade displays or offers for sale or hire, or
  2. distributes either for the purpose of trade or to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright or by way of trade exhibits in public; or imports into Bangladesh, any infringing copies of the work.”

On the other hand, Section 72 of the Copyright Act 2000 (amended in 2005) stated following acts will be not be treated as infringement of copyright:

  1. Private use, use by society for teaching or research,
  2. Fair dealing in reporting of current events, review, teaching and research,
  • Reproduction for use in judicial proceedings,
  1. Reproduction for use of the members of the legislature,
  2. The use of a certified copy in accordance with any law in force,
  3. The use of reciting the part of any literary work in a logical way,
  • The use in an educational institution where the audience is limited to students, parents directly connected with the institution,
  • Reproduction of not more than three copies for the use of a library or non-commercial library where the work is not available in Bangladesh,
  1. The use of anything of Parliamentary Law published in government notifications, etc.,
  2. The use of critical analysis, observation and discussion,
  3. The use of newspapers, magazines, and other current news in order to illustrate the events or the using electronic media for covering some important issues and events.

Civil and Criminal Remedies for copyright infringement:

  • Civil Remedies:

 Chapter 14 of the Copyright Act 2000 (amended in 2005) talked about the Civil Remedies available for any infringements of copyright. Under Section 76 (1), “the owner of the copyright or such other right, as the case may be, shall, except as otherwise provided by this Act, be entitled to all such remedies by way of injunction, damages, accounts and otherwise as are or may be conferred by law….”However, Section 81 of this Act specified the jurisdiction of the court where every civil suit or another civil proceeding regarding infringement of copyright shall be instituted and tried in the court of the District Judge within the local limits.

It is also important to mention that Section 78 of this Act recognizes a special right of the author, and this right is also called a moral right. If an author transfers his or her copyright to another under assignment or license, still this moral right will protect the originality of the work and copyright of the author.

  • Criminal Remedies: 

Chapter 15 of the Copyright Act 2000 (amended in 2005) prescribed the Criminal Remedies available for any infringements of copyright. Under Section 82, “…other than in the case of a cinematograph film, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to four years but not less than six months and with fine which may extend to taka two lacks but not less than take 50,000 (fifty) thousand”. However, “if it is proved to the satisfaction of the court that the infringement has not been made for gain in the course of trade or business, the court may impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of fewer than six months and a fine of less than taka fifty thousand”.

In the case of cinematograph film the infringer under Section 82 (2), “shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to five years but not less than one year and with a fine of not exceeding five lacks but not less than one lakh”

To obtain a criminal remedy, the owner of the copyright must follow the criteria of cognizance prescribed under Section 92, where “no court inferior to that of a Court of Sessions shall take cognizance of an offence under this Act”, and under Section 66 (1), “no court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under this chapter to save on complaint made by an officer empowered in this behalf by the Government by a general or special order.”

if you want to know more about the related topics, please visit:

Intellectual property rights in Bangladesh

Trademark Registration Process in Bangladesh: Complete Guideline

Counsels Law Partners (CLP) 2022:

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