8th April 2011 is the original date it was written, now being published.
It’s been a while now we heard the news that the loudest band of Pakistan Overload is split and re-shuffled again and Meesha Shafi – ex-Lead Vocalist of Overload & Coke Studio’s Jugni fame – and her husband Mehmood Rehman – the lead guitarist of the band – were no more a part of Overload. Consequently, we are now seeing the effects of it in the form of complete disagreement, legal fight over songs’ rights and indeed taking off the Official Video from Youtube.
A few days back, Overload released its brand new music video song ‘Batti’ which received an overwhelming response from the fans. The video brought Farhad Humayun into limelight as Lead Vocalist, while Shahzad Hameed and Fahad Ali (Call band sessionist) were featured in the music video.
Soon after it got some good response, the video was taken down by YouTube on a copyright claim. The claimer of the content was none other than Meesha Shafi (Meera Shafi) who is now of the view that the song is her intellectual property and the band Overload can’t use the compositions in their videos. We also heard that Meesha Shafi had taken a ‘stay order’ from court and a notice was also given in some newspaper regarding the use of the compositions.(we don’t really know which newspaper was that). Here is the screen shot of that copyright claim:
‘Batti’ – a remake of ‘Dhol Bajay Ga’ ?
Now if we look back, this track ‘Batti’ was included in Overload’s second album Pichal Pairee as ‘Dhol Bajay Ga’, which was released ONLINE for FREE under Overload’s Banner. Now the question here arises, If once a band member departs from the band, does he/she get any rights over the song which were made mutually while the band was united?
In Pakistan, most of the bands emerge just because of their mutual understanding and their passion about Music. They become friends and then make a band and run it without giving it a legal cover. But things start to get worst when these bands start getting some ‘recognition’ and ‘success’ in the music spheres.
The Owner of the band Overload says…
Being the Owner of the band, Farhad Humayun – the drummer and now lead vocalist- claims that All rights are reserved with Overload and those who have departed have no rights over songs of Overload. Makes Sense? Yeah somewhat, but we will have to see some other things as well like, Overload was may be working professionally but the question arises here are:
Did the Band(Overload) sign the contract papers with Meesha when she was given the lead position in the band?
Mehmood and Farhad are relatives and probably first cousins, but was there also any legal relation between them?
If there was nothing and things were going informally between them, this controversy will remain controversy for years to come. But if the terms and conditions for members were provided and signed in a contract, the case will go into courts (which in our information is already pending before the court) and we can expect a judgment in not less than a year (I guess).
What is this ? My personal opinion:
In my opinion, this controversy will remain controversial. Here in Pakistan laws such as Intellectual property and Copyright Protection are not properly applicable. Going for a legal battle and then expecting a decision within a matter of time, is not really a good decision and approach.
The best Farhad-Meesha-Mehmood can do is: to solve this issue outside the court. Some of their relatives and seniors closed to them should also do some efforts in this regard to patch up this matter among them. If this doesn’t happen then ‘note my words’ both the parties are looking for ‘shortcut to success’. The same way we have seen Atif-Goher, Roxen-Omer and some others claiming the fame. The maxim goes something like:
All Publicity is indeed publicity OR negative promotion is also promotion
While being controversial there are so many benefits, such as:
1. You remain in the news;
2. You attract the masses, as conflicts and controversies are always worth following for many; and
3. You enjoy your ‘fans’ and ‘haters’ comments who don’t leave a single platform to fight for your rights and spread words about you.
So If these two parties(as they are split better call them parties) are approaching for this kind of ‘Negative Promotion’, they are seriously seeking for a ‘Quick Success Scheme’. I might be wrong, but trust me this is all happening and some are trying to ignite this fire EVEN MORE.
Let me know in the comments below how are you guys seeing all this ?