Kartapur Corridor construction has become a big deal for Pakistanis. With the Prime Minister, Chief of Army Staff and basically all state machinery seemingly in favor of this step, Pakistanis appear very excited about this. All this excitement is naturally being covered by TV channels. However, in their race to show your the best footage they’re resorting to some dirty tactics.
Filmmaker Umair Ahmad Khawaja from Lahore is accusing multiple TV channels of stealing footage from his documentary for their news about Kartarpur Corridor
Umair, who is a documentary filmmaker with a bachelors in film and TV production from the prestigious NCA, says that TV channels have been “stealing his shots” from his documentary “Kartarpur Sahib”. The film was made in late 2017 in collaboration with Evacuee Trust Property Board, the government department that oversees properties, shrines and land of Hindus and Sikhs who left behind property during the migration of 1947.
While speaking to MangoBaaz about his work, Umair said he first saw his stolen footage on Aaj News at 11pm on November 27 while he was watching TV with his friends. He says he has been following all TV channels ever since he saw scenes from his own movie being used on TV without his knowledge or permission.
Umair shared his concerns about one TV channel on his Facebook and his friends started telling him they had seen that same footage on various other TV channels as well
Through his friends’ comments on his Facebook post Umair has found out that channels like Geo TV, Express News and Dunya News have also used his film’s footage without his knowledge or permission and haven’t given him due credit for that footage.
When asked how he would like to be compensated for this Umair said that he doesn’t necessarily want money out of this, but respect
He emphasized that he isn’t calling out TV channels because he is looking for money but because the footage he collected is after months of research and effort. He wants to be respected and recognized for his work and the TV channels should give him the respect of attributing the work he has done to him.
He said he wouldn’t say no to monetary compensation but it is respect that’s most important to him and therefore he wants the TV channels to air the same footage they have stolen from him again with his name and issue on air apology for using his work without crediting him.
Plagiarism is a menace that isn’t taken seriously in Pakistan mostly because of a lack of legal framework to protect the original owner of intellectual property. Additionally, due to a lack of awareness about what really constitutes stealing, people often dilute genuine cases of content creators whose work has actually been stolen without credit being attributed to them. Just the way it happened with Umair.
Here’s hoping that some channels, if not all, learn to do the right thing.
To watch Umair’s very informative and visually stunning movie ‘Kartarpur Sahib’, check it out here
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