Yasir Akhtar and Fringe Benefits Sue Nestle for Copyright!
“Nestle’s High Handedness and Silent but Purposeful Fight for the Rights of the Icons”
In a Nestle Sponsored Marketing program ‘Nestle Basement Cafe’, a popular song titled ‘Pyar Dian Gallan’ was originally created, composed, cinematographed, and performed by icons Yasir Akhtar (The Arid Zone), Fringe
Benefits (Sheheryar Qureshi, Mohammad Ali) and rapped by Yatagan (Fakhar e Alam), was aired in one of its sessions without any consent or assignment by all the artists.
The copied song till date is available on YouTube along with Yasir Akhtar, The Arid Zone, Fringe Benefits, Shehryar Qureshi, Mohammad Ali, Fakhar e Alam (Yatagan), and original art/music piece/product. Surprisingly, the Nestle Song does give credit to the original artist in its YouTube version at the end of the song. However, when sued in the court of law for damages, Nestle’s legal team has been trying hard to make it a copyright issue to evade/delay the process of law, which to the honourable court has turned down.
Nestle’s legal team used every trick in the book to delay the proceedings, including a complete denial that they never received any notices of appeal at their registered address, despite the fact that on copies of notices, there existed the signature of their security staff and complete ignorance of the newspaper advert calling their attention to court, which is the last action in substituted service.
After losing out in the court of sessions on an apparently designed absence to prolong the proceedings and an application to rehear thereafter, Nestle knocked on the doors of the high court on a plea of a fair trial in a writ petition that the court of sessions decided against them ex parte, got them an extra chance to present their argument in the court of sessions. However, in the light of the judgment by honourable sessions court, their argument seems unconvincing.
It is important to highlight that it has been approximately three years for Nestle to gain time over technicalities of the law rather than admitting the mistake of depriving artists of the share of their creativity, and use of their goodwill and reputation, without any return.
In an era where the social responsibility of a corporate organisation of their ilk is highly valued, with the latest turn of events, the chances for Nestle to escape the responsibility of its actions are growing slimmer.
Keeping fingers crossed, the trial of this case will light the candle for so many junior rights whose creativity is usurped by the so-called big wigs of the industry.
Let the first drop of rainfall come in due time.
Bravo to the trendsetters like Yasir Akhtar (The Arid Zone), Fringe Benefits (Sheheryar Qureshi and Mohammad Ali),and their legal team for a silent but legal and purposeful fight for your rights!