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    Volume 9 Issue 22| May 28, 2010|

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Bijoy and Intellectual Property Rights

My attention has been drawn to an article by Shabnaz Rashid Diya and a letter by Rubayeet Islam published in the Star Magazine. In my opinion, the entire issue has been seen from a negative angle and several claims made in Diya's piece were misleading.
The title "The Fight Over Fonts" was not appropriate, as the article did not deal with any fight over fonts between anyone. Fonts are sets of characters of a particular language in a particular style and does not have any relation to the so called debate about Bijoy and Avro. In reality the issue relates to the Intellectual Property Right of a copyrighted, patented and trademarked software product named Bijoy. The issue is centred on the Copyright Act 2000 (amended in 2005), Trademark Act 2009 and Patent Act 1911. Unfortunately not a single word was mentioned about these laws in the article.
I am surprised to see that the writer could draw a conclusion that Avro is not a pirated version. I would like to draw her attention to clause 2(8)(uma) of Copyright Act 2000 (amended in 2005) where it has been clearly mentioned that the copyright violation of a computer program can be full or partial. Even if it is accepted for the sake of debate that UniBijoy of Avro is not a complete copy of Bijoy Keyboard Layout -- the above clause has prohibited a partial copy too. Avro has copied Bijoy Keyboard Layout, which is 99% of Bijoy Bangla software, and the Bijoy Keyboard layout itself is also a copyrighted and patented product.
Shabnaz has incorrectly mentioned that Bijoy Bangla software does not support Unicode. In fact Bijoy Ekushe born in 2004 started supporting Unicode and now all our versions being marketed support Unicode. The writer has mentioned that UniBijoy which has been included in Avro has differences in 8 keystrokes from Bijoy Keyboard layout. The reality is, there is no difference in the layout of Roman character set positions of A to Z and the website of Avro named omicronlab.com itself says that UniBijoy is 99% similar to popular Bijoy Keyboard Layout.
Rubayeet's discussion was on a good issue. He stresses that software can be copyrighted but not a keyboard. I would like to draw everybody's attention to the fact that the QWERTY keyboard was patented and no keyboard which is a new invention was refused a patent right. Bijoy Keyboard has also got the patent right. Therefore as Bijoy has got the copyright and patent and it has been done with absolute lawful authority there is no way that it can be violated. Neither Avro nor anybody else has the right to violate my Intellectual Property.
Mustafa Jabbar

The Coal Solution

This is a response to the letter on “The Case for Coal” published in your May 14 issue. While your cover story (April 30) made a case for the use of coal as our next primary energy source, the letter writer dismissed coal and espoused solar energy. I live and work in London England but the land of my parents, grandparents and cousins is still very important to me. I find it hard to understand how people without scientific or financial background can hold out the false hope of solar or renewable energy as being any sort of solution to the present or the medium term power problems.
While solar is a green and renewable energy source, it still has some way to go before it can be a primary source. I currently pay annual power bills of 1000 pounds per annum and our electricity is mainly gas powered. For myself to purchase solar electricity would entail massive capital investment of 10000-20000 pounds. If solar power is beyond the dreams of relatively rich environment conscious consumers in the West, how can it be an energy mainstay in Bangladesh? I fear that anyone who holds out any hope of it as a solution in a developing country is a dreamer and quite simply unrealistic.
Zahid Hasan
London, England

Promises and Performance
Everyday we are facing severe traffic congestion in Dhaka and it has become our daily routine. Valuable time is being wasted every single day sitting in traffic. There is no electricity to run our factories or to power our homes. I think our government has all but forgotten the promise to digitalise the country. Now it seems that the word “digital” is going to remain in our dreams only. Probably the ministers are busy with politics of name changing and shutting down TV channels. It is a sad fact that when a party receives a mandate to rule, it conveniently forgets its promises and indulges in acts of vengeance against political opponents. My humble request to the ruling party: do something wholesome and constructive, the like of which did not happen in our country before. You claim to be the government of change and you have enough time to prove yourselves. If you do what our previous governments did, then what is the difference between you and other political parties? We urgently need more flyovers and dividers on our roads, and proper roadside lighting in the city. We are in critical need of social justice and tougher law enforcement. Please concentrate on the development of the country and do not indulge in politics as usual.
Rezwana Zaman
Dhanmondi, Dhaka

Better Waste Management
Waste management has become a great issue for our country. For 'din bodol' (Change in our daily lives) we are doing many things. But we should concentrate on some basic matters which can lead us to a new era. For example, let us say you have eaten potato chips while walking in the park or along the footpath. With the packet in hand and the perception of ‘din bodol' in mind, you are looking for some suitable place to trash the packet. But unfortunately you will most likely be frustrated in your efforts to be a good citizen! Few shops or parks in this mega city have trash cans that are conveniently located. Just think, if even the smallest tea stall had a trash can (which costs taka 15), then the scenario would have changed! It is high time we realise the importance of trash management. Spitting here and there and littering to our hearts' content will not usher in a new era.
Rabiul Islam
Dhanmondi, Dhaka


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