By Ehsan Ullah Khan.
Copyrights infringement is one of the main reason behind the deterioration of the Arts and Entertainment industry in Pakistan. Artistes and Creative content makers have incurred losses to the tune of millions due to widespread piracy and copy culture. Laws about Copyrights do exist in Pakistan but are rarely applied, by and large because of two reasons: either the people subjected to such situations where copyright laws might come into play are not truly aware of the existence of such laws, or the laws are narrow and weak enough to discourage their own application. This leads to prevalent piracy whereby illegal copies of items ranging from books to film CD’s are sold in the market in broad daylight. Such practices lead to huge economic losses for people like writers and artists which consequently disheartens them, and dampens their will to produce quality content, by causing them financial hardships.
In the light of hardships that people in the Arts and Entertainment industries bear, new talent abstains from taking up any role in both industries. As a result, the lack of fresh talent limits the quantity of quality content and thus industries like arts and entertainment find it hard to stay afloat.
The arts and entertainment industry in Pakistan is down in the dumps and needs an energetic revival which would lead not only to the employment of hundreds across the entertainment industry but also to a new area of revenue for the government, as entertainment, if it starts running, is a profitable business and taxing it can generate huge monetary sums.
As we talk about a revival, such a revival can only take place if the government strengthens Copyright Laws and takes considerable steps for the mainstream application of such laws. Rigorous measures should be taken to prevent copyright infringement. Also, government supported awareness seminars could be arranged across the country especially in Universities, which are breeding grounds of amateur artists and fledgling content creators, to spread awareness about Copyrights, Copyright Laws and the prevention of copyrights infringement.
If such steps are effectively taken, only then can the arts and entertainment stand on its feet, which would catalyze not only the social and economic uplift of the artist community but also provide the government prodigious amounts of money in terms of taxation.
The writer is a student of Economics at Quaid-e-Azam University. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.