Indian YouTube Channel Is Using Pakistani Music Without Permission

Over the years we know how Indian composers have taken inspiration from a number of Pakistani tracks. Be it Munni Badnam or Hawa Hawa, Indian musicians have literally copied Pakistani tracks a number of time.

This time, however, things have gone a step further, as an Indian YouTube channel has gone as far as posting Pakistani music without acquiring the proper rights to do so.

YouTube channel ‘The Last Cigarette’ with roughly has 375000 subscribers has been posting music by artists Bayaan, Kashmir – The Band, 21 The Band, Naseer Afridi, Khamaaj alongside Ali Sethi and others.

After the channel was discovered, Pakistani record label Rearts, that represents Bayaan, Kashmir, 21 The Band, Naseer Afridi, and Khamaaj sent out a legal notice, accusing the channel of copyright infringement.

Rearts also shared the news on their Twitter, narrating the entire incident.

“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.

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“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,” read the post.

The statement also added that since monetization had been enabled on the channel, a significant amount of revenue had been generated with more views on the videos posted by the channel than the original ones.

“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. 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 licence, but he wouldn’t agree to it. So we sent him a copyright strike – but sadly, to no avail,” Ahmad Butt, the managing director of the label said in a conversation with Tribune.

“We did so to ensure that we could get in touch with the owner of the channel so we could mediate 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,” he further added.

Butt also added that there had been a backlash for the bands after a legal notice was sent to the YouTube channel.

Afshan Zahra

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