'Illegal' Translated Book At Book Fair

Book lovers at Amar Ekushey Book Fair || Photo: Collected

Book lovers at Amar Ekushey Book Fair || Photo: Collected

Several new translated books on English literature are appearing at this year's Amar Ekushey Book Fair. Most of these translations are being published without the author's permission, and due to copyright laws, the original authors are not gaining any rights from these books. Although the Copyright Office and the Bangla Academy have launched campaigns, this trend has not ceased.

Why are translators reluctant to obtain copyright permission? Where is the problem? Ananya Publication owner Monirul Haque says, "We publish books whose copyrights are collected by translators themselves. Most of the time, it is difficult to establish communication with the authors. In some cases, fulfilling the author's demand for more copyright is also difficult. We sell thousands of copies of a book that has been translated well. How much will you pay for the copyright? As a result, many lose interest in taking copyright permission."

The number of books translated at this year's book fair is not available at the Bangla Academy. It has been seen that only Sandesh Publications are publishing books on translations. The company's copyright owner Mizanur Rahman says, "So far, we have only brought three new books. The copyrights of those books can be obtained by translators. However, he also claims that some books have copyrights."

Deputy Registrar of Bangladesh Copyright Office Abul Kashem Mohammad Fazlul Haque said, "So far, we have undertaken two campaigns by the task force. And the Bangla Academy has launched three campaigns. Due to the lack of copyright, we have confiscated more than three hundred books. Before publishing translated books at the book fair, the copyright permission of the original author or publisher must be submitted to the Copyright Office. However, some publishers do not submit this for their benefit. We are trying to make sure."

According to the Copyright Act, the family of the author receives royalties as a copyright after the author's death for the next 60 years. After 60 years, they become public property. Then, if anyone wants to publish the author's book, there is no problem. To know about the problems of copyright, Syaira Habib, Deputy Director of the translation department of the Bangla Academy, said, "The books we publish after ensuring the copyright. The translators collect them. This time, we have not translated any foreign writer's book. At the request of the Prime Minister, we have translated seven books of our authors into English. which can be given to foreigners."

To know about the problems of copyright, Mr. Habib said, "The main problem is contacting the authors. Secondly, the practice of the law is less. And thirdly, they claim such copyright, it is often not possible to fulfill them by our publishers."

Talking to several publishers around the book fair, it was learned that if the copyright of translated books is to be given to the author, one has to go through various rules of the Bangladesh Bank. Those rules are simple. Intellectual property is an asset, it cannot be taken by anyone."

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