PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan has some good news for the entertainment fraternity — a resolution on artists receiving royalties for their work has been submitted in the Senate. Many celebrities welcomed the news, especially given that there is a no-royalty payments system in the country depriving artists of the fruit of their labour in the long-run.
Senator Khan tweeted about the resolution on December 24. "Cognisant of the fact that the artists from entertainment industry have been facing the issue of rightful and just royalties for a long time, [an issue that is] tantamount to misuse of copyrights, [we have] submitted a resolution in the Senate of Pakistan regarding royalties for artists," he shared.
"The [o]bjective is to empower the Copyright Board to fix the royalties for licensing, assignment of work and ensure payments to the artists whenever their work is used in any mode."
In April, Senator Khan had announced he was in touch with stakeholders who were working on a comprehensive bill to address the issue of royalty payment to artists.
"Most countries around the world give royalties/residuals to artists every time a show, their work, is re-run, a second time or more. However, sadly in Pakistan where many artists are already underpaid, there is no policy or law ensuring that artists be given financial credit for their work.
"It is very critical to fill the gaps and bring proper framework via amendments in legislation to ensure that our producers, artists get the rights to royalties," he'd said.
A number of celebrities rejoiced at this recent development.
"High time! I seriously hope that you succeed," tweeted Vasay Chaudhry.
"This is great progress!" said actor Hira Tareen. "Thumbs up! I hope we pass this soon so the artists of Pakistan can finally get their residual dues for the re-airing or repeat telecasts of their work."
"This is a solid start in the legislature for the preservation of our culture and arts," tweeted Omair Rana "Preserve our artists, support this."
Actor Ali Kazmi lauded the resolution as well.
The issue of artists not receiving royalties was brought to everyone's attention when the late actor Nayla Jaffri, one of PTV's golden era actors, took to Twitter in April to highlight how she needs financial assistance to aid her fight against ovarian cancer. She requested TV channel owners to pay her the royalties accrued from re-runs of her work, arguing that royalties would make bearing the expenses of her fight against cancer much easier.