BTRC to bring extra cellphone services under legal frameworkBangladesh Sangbad Sangstha . Dhaka
The telecom regulatory body has decided to bring the extra cellphone services like songs used as welcome tunes to avail the royalty to singers or artistes concerned under legal framework, officials said on Friday.
‘We will bring their (cell phone operators) value added service into a legal framework as they were bagging money using other’s music and poems’ giving the singers, composers, lyricists, painters no benefit, Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission chairman Major General (retd) Zia Ahmed told the news agency.
He said, under a proposed regulation, the mobile phone operators would now need to avail licenses for their value added services under a guideline that would ensure payment of royalty to concerned artistes.
The telecom regulatory body chief’s comments came a day after a joint forum of lyricists, composers and singers met Ahmed and sought the BTRC’s intervention to protect their copyrights in the telecom industry.
Officials familiar with the meeting said singer Sabina Yasmin, Andru Kishore, Kanak Chanpa, Shuvra Dev, and lyricist and composer Alauddin Ali comprised the delegation which said they were deprived of their justified stake in the profits pocketed by the mobile phone operators using their products and contents.
The delegation members also urged the telecom regulator to impose restrictions on downloading Hindi and English contents at mobile phone in the country.
BTRC officials and industry insiders said the mobile phone operators and content providers are bagging huge amount of profit through using different songs, music or poems of Bangladesh artistes as ‘welcome tune’ and ‘music station’ by taking the advantage of inexistence of any legal binding.
Currently the six mobile phone operators — Grammephone, Banglalink, Robi, airtel, Teletalk and Citycell — are providing songs, movie tones, international music, and drama clip as value added services to their nearly 90 million subscribers.
The six operators offers welcome tune by which the subscribers can make their friends listen to their favorite tunes every time they call while they charge a monthly fee of Tk 30 for using Welcome Tune and another Tk 15 for downloading the tone.
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