Music composers from across the globe seek inspiration from each other and Indian and Pakistani artists are no exception. Pakistani netizens have often criticized Indians of copyright theft, while Indians accused Pakistan of blindly aping Bollywood.
According to reports in Express Tribune, an Indian YouTube channel had been posting songs by Pakistani artists on their YouTube channel without obtaining any legal rights from the original composers.
The report states that music by artists like Bayaan, Kashmir – The Band, 21 The Band, Naseer Afridi, and many others were featured on the YouTube channels ‘The Last Cigarette’ which has nearly 375, 000 subscribers.
After getting to know about out about the illegal YouTube channel, a Pakistani record label Rearts, that represents Bayaan, Kashmir, 21 The Band, Naseer Afridi, and Khamaaj sent out a legal notice, blaming the YouTube channel of copyright violation.
Rearts shared the news on Twitter. “In the past few days, we were brought to the attention of a YouTube channel by the title of ‘Last Cigarette’. This channel had roughly 375k subscribers with millions of views on nearly all of its posted videos,” the tweet read. “The music on this channel featured the content of five artists from our label which had not been obtained from the artists with prior consent.”
The statement further added that the YouTube channel had also enabled monetization, which means that a significant amount of revenue had been generated from these videos alongside the fact that the views received were greater than the ones on the original video.
A statement on the recent termination of the YouTube channel 'The Last Cigarette' by rearts records. @Kashmirtheband @BayaanOfficial @naseerandshahab @21TheBand @Khamaaj_band#respectart pic.twitter.com/iTele3dGxy
— rearts (@reartspk) April 20, 2020
“We came to know about the violation of copyright through an algorithm we use to keep tabs if any of our music is being published illegally,” Butt shared. “We found out that material from five of our artists was being used without permission. The fact that the person would pick all the hard work of our artistes, without giving due credit was unjust. We reached out to him for obtaining the license, but he wouldn’t agree to it. So we sent him a copyright strike – but sadly, to no avail.”
“We did so to ensure that we could get in touch with the owner of the channel so we could meditate and figure out due compensation,” Butt further elaborated. “The channel agreed that they had not obtained the content with the permission of the artists or the label and also had monetization enabled on their account, yet they claimed that they were only doing this to ‘promote art’ and had no ulterior motives whatsoever.”
Butt went on to add that once the label decided to send out a notice, there was a severe backlash. “The Last Cigarette has a very loyal fan following. Once they put up an apology, owning to the violation, the fans started freaking out,” he added. “Fans thought it was the bands who sent a legal notice to the channel so they then started bombarding them with hate.”
Ahmad Butt, the managing director of the label told the Pakistan media house that the label reached out to ‘The Last Cigarette’ to acquire the business legally and become a partner in India. Rearts has sent the final copyright violation strike recently.