DHAKA—A Bangladeshi court today barred mobile phone users from using film songs from India and other nations in the sub-continent as ringtones or welcome tunes, in a ruling likely to affect the country’s 121 million subscribers.
The High Court directed “abstention” from the use of songs and tunes from Hindi movies, Indian Bangla movies and movies from any other country in the Indian subcontinent as Value Added Services (VAS) of the mobile operators, bdnews24 online reported.
The bench of justices Farah Mahbub and Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo issued the order with a rule after hearing a writ petition.
Petitioner’s lawyer Mehedi Hasan Chowdhury said the court issued the rule asking as to why the use of these songs and tunes as VAS offered by mobile operators should not be declared illegal.
Secretaries of culture, information, home and law ministries, BTRC chairman and all mobile operators in the country were asked to reply within four weeks, he said.
Music Industries Owners Association President AKM Arifur Rahman and General Secretary SK Shahed Ali filed the writ petition in June.
Following the order, Chowdhury said: “Import policy bars the import of Indian or sub-continental films to Bangladesh. That is why songs of those (films) can’t be used as welcome tune or ringtone.”
The total number of mobile phone subscriptions in Bangladesh stood at over 121 million in January this year, according to data available on the website of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.