KARACHI: After taking notice of what they believe to be copyrights infringement in Adnan Sami’s rendition of Bhar Do Jholi in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, EMI Pakistan has now served a legal notice to various stakeholders involved in the song.
Two other high-profile names to have been issued the notice by the Pakistani record label include the movie’s lead actor, Salman Khan, along with its director Kabir Khan. Others addressed in the notice include T-Series India and Media Concepts Pakistan.
Although EMI Pakistan termed it as a matter of “great pride” that a Pakistani song was being liked and reproduced across the border they termed it as a responsibility to preserve their rights and commercial interests.
“It is equally important for us to preserve our rights and uphold our commercial interests, so as to ensure that deserving artists and the owners of original copyrights get the rightful remuneration for their creation,” stated the notice.
The legal document further stated that their client, EMI Pakistan, had in their possession the necessary documents which manifest the exclusive legal right.
In an interview earlier conducted by Bollywood Hungama, Adnan Sami Khan had defended the decision of not obtaining the rights to the qawwali considering its iconic status and that it was a very old soundtrack — even drawing parallels with another classic, Dama Dam Mast Qalandar.
When asked about the interview in question, General Manager of EMI Pakistan, Zeeshan Chaudhry shared a screenshot of his comment on the Facebook link to the Adnan Sami Khan interview in which he had criticised the actor for defending his decision of not going through the proper legal channel.
“There is a thing called copyrights and as a courtesy, all concerned stakeholders associated with this project are supposed to, ethically and morally, take permission from the copyright holder.”
He also explained that unlike Bhar Do Jholi which was first performed during the 1970’s, Dama Dam Mast Qalandar is over 200 years old thus placing it in public domain.
Interestingly a copy of the legal notice has also been sent to the Central Board of Film Censors in Pakistan. Although the release of the film in Pakistan is yet to be finalised it may prove to be a major hurdle for its local distributors.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2015.
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