EMI Pakistan Threatens KoolMuzone For Embedding a Youtube Video

December 25, 2011

The last few weeks have been quite a pain for me because of constant phone calls and email threats by Zeeshan Chaudhry, general manager at EMI Pakistan Ltd. I had been trying to reach a point of understanding with Zeeshan Chaudhry but since he has been a constant source of nuisance for me till now, the issue has to be talked about.

It all began when Salman Ahmad signed up with EMI Pakistan for the release of Junoon-20. Since early September 2011, we have been closely in touch with Salman for news and updates on Junoon-20. We have contributed positively to the whole project, which not only Salman, but other artists who collaborated in the project could verify.

During the promotion, coverage and creating hype for the album, Salman shared all the tracks from his album with us, some for the sole purpose of listening and some to be taken online. These were usually rough mixes and not the final products. One such song called “Sajna” by Momina Mustehsan was emailed to us by the maestro himself. Just to make sure that the track could be taken online, we wrote back to Salman.

Just heard Sajna & it sounds amazing. Can I share it on KoolMuzone for the promotion of Junoon-20 to give the listeners a feel of the album?

To which Salman replied

Go for it Faiz. Will send you pyar bina as well by Sajid and Zeeshan. Remember that the SSGWI/EMI launch is Dec 21 in Karachi

The twitter conversation is available in the following screenshot

Only a day after this, we were contacted by Zeeshan from EMI Pakistan who told us EMI and not Salman reserves the right to decide what goes online and what doesn’t. We are usually fairly strict about the copyright violations and try to comply with the DMCA as soon as possible. Within minutes of the phone call, the content was taken offline. Meanwhile, I tried to explain it to Zeeshan that we weren’t trying to pirate the song but we were simply permitted by Salman to use it. However, that didn’t go too well and Zeeshan kept on and on to tell me how it is my fault and that I’m a total ignorant when it comes to copyright laws. He also told me that emails don’t have any legal acceptance in the court of law. If that was true, memogate case would cease to exist. Zeeshan also threatened me that he politely requested me to take content off the blog this time but in future he won’t request.

The conversation ended there and I was glad the matter did come to an end, eventually. If we were the supporters of piracy, we would have put the album online instead of publishing an iTunes link to help push the sales. If anything, we have been supporters of music in Pakistan.

Yesterday, Salman shared an image of him jamming with Junaid Jamshed, followed by a direct message on Twitter asking

To which I replied

Soon after this conversation, official account of EMI Pakistan uploaded the video of Salman and JJ jamming. Moments after I “embedded” the video from the official “EMIPAKISTANLTD”, Zeeshan sent the following text to me

Hamad you are not stopping despite my discussion with you earlier!

As soon as I read that, I was ROFLLMAOWTFOMG. To confirm that he actually is pointing towards the youtube embed this time around, I asked him

I can’t embed a youtube video uploaded by EMI. Is that what you’re telling me?

To which he replied

You are not well aware of copyrights laws and constantly violating them at least in emi case! Enough has been told you and but no point fine!“.

It wasn’t really easy to make my point to Zeeshan as he doesn’t really listen to what I have to say but this is what YouTube TOS has to say in the article 6C to the uploader of the video in this particular situation

You also hereby grant each user of the Service a non-exclusive license to access your Content through the Service, and to use, reproduce, distribute, display and perform such Content as permitted through the functionality of the Service and under these Terms of Service.

This is further explained here in an article by HubPages

The owner of the video grants you a limited license to embed the video simply by leaving the embed option on (which is part of the functionality of the youTube Service).

So EMIPAKISTANLTD allowed the video to be embedded (now disabled) on blogs/websites and when I did embed it, I was violating EMIPAKISTANLTD’s copyrights? At least that’s what Zeeshan meant.

Now that the video has been disabled to be embedded by the uploader, it would only display as an external link to the YouTube video which is again explained by HubPages using the following statement.

Providing a regular link to a youTube video, like so, is clearly not infringing on any copyright laws because the video does not appear on the site.

The whole idea of trying to bear with Mr. Zeeshan for 3 weeks was to come to the point of understanding without having to make an issue out of it but that’s not what Zeeshan asked for. While most artists and labels appreciate the external traffic to be sent to their videos and YouTube credits the websites/blogs sending out the most number of views, Zeeshan feels hiding the videos in his closet is the real deal.

I have made my point here and now I leave it for you guys to decide if EMI’s stance in such situations is anything close to “right”, or “sane” if put more appropriately. It is rather ridiculous that the general manager of such a record label thinks he reserves the right to sue me for merely embedding a video that he has allowed to be embedded.