Legendary singer and ex-member of Junoon, Salman Ahmed recently voiced his views on the piracy woes and copyrights issues that Pakistani artists faced. Salman was of the view that local artists were losing out on the money they had a right to and were awarded scanty sums. In a lengthy statement, this is how Salman detailed the problem and provided an effective solution to it as well:-
“I have been reading this very important exchange of views between the artists & song writers & those who want to build new online businesses for music marketing in Pakistan. After having spent 25 years building a career which predominantly revolves around intellectual property rights,song writing, performance & music licensing, I wanted to share some observations with all of you. The potential for music & music marketing in Pakistan is huge,(for all stake holders) only if we build a solid & just foundation.”
Salman stated that he had also held discussions with legal experts in this regards.
“I have spoken to law makers in Pakistan to provide greater protection & a level playing field to Pakistan’s intellectual property right creators because they are the life blood of our culture & society. What would life be without indigenous Pakistani content? We would be reduced to just listening to overseas music or jingles. It’s through the blood,sweat & tears of Pakistani artists,their songs,poetry,books, plays, films & TV programs that most of us relate to Pakistani cultural identity. Yet ironically, it is the artists who have remained an endangered species. Since 1947, Pakistani artists have been forced to give away their valuable creations for free or for a pittance to TV,radio, publishers & now digitally.”
“They have been exploited by everyone for their lack of knowledge of their rights or because of their weak negotiating positions. Yet music & the artist cannot survive without an audience & a just value system attached to bringing their creations to a wider audience. To online companies like Taazi & Patari, in today’s borderless market place, my view is that every artist should be free to make his or her deals as an independent. To enter into a contract with only those companies who will respect their copyright, market their music, invest in their careers & help build them an audience.”
In conclusion, Salman stated that a just and fair system was the key which would safeguard the rights of musicians in Pakistan.
“Every artists should be aware about their They key again is justice. Not every artist can command a huge fee or a huge audience but each artist deserves justice & a fair deal. Regardless of who you are, known or unknown, please protect your copyrights & educate yourself about intellectual property. I’m sharing a couple of articles by major artists in the West who are dealing with a similar predicament . I hope this helps you in shining a greater light on this issue of monetizing music & building a new foundation for the future of intellectual property in Pakistan.”