Pakistan government’s official YouTube channel was suspended after claims of copyright infringement emerged against it. This happened after a local vlogger named Irfan Junejo came forward alleging that the page used one of the videos he uploaded without permission. The account was later reinstated by YouTube.
As per a report in Pakistan’s newspaper The Express Tribune, Junejo is quite famous across the country for his travelogues. In a video posted on government’s official page that was titled as ‘Family-friendly activities in Pakistan,’ clips from one of Junejo’s footage was taken without prior permission.
— Irfan Junejo (@irfanjunejo) February 1, 2018
This prompted Junejo to register a copyright infringement complaint with YouTube. He also reacted to the issue by tweeting the matter on his Twitter account. “hello jee, your YouTube channel stole clips from my Naran video. Just wanted to tell you it’s wrong,” read his first tweet that also had the link to the page of Pakistan’s Press Information Department. The second tweet stated that he needed advice about how to deal with the stealing by the government.
The government authorities, on their part, defended their action. They stated that the video was an attempt to promote the ‘softer image’ of the country and that all it had done was to promote local talent.
“We gave him (Junejo) video credits in the description of the video and we are promoting the work of local photographers and videographers,” Zaigham Abbas, an official from the government said in the report.
Junejo, whose channel has got thousands of subscribers, said that while it is not the first time that he has faced such experience, he was hurt by the government’s attitude towards the matter. “My clips have been stolen before by other groups and media channels, however, the government of Pakistan ‘stealing’ them and then trying to say ‘I should be proud of it’, is what hurt me the most,” he was quoted as saying.
While thanking those who supported his cause he said that he could have given better footage if he was asked to but it was simply wrong to steal somebody’s property.
In later media reports, Junejo said that YouTube did not take down the video because of his complaint exclusively. It was a result of multiple other previous complaints by other users.
After a lot of to and fro with the government Irfan, as per a later tweet, seems has made up with the Pakistan’s information department.
Just got a call from @pid_gov. They were very kind and courteous. Assured me they’ll look into the matter and may be even collaborate with me in the future. Dow bhaiyon main misunderstanding hogayi thi bas ✌️
— Irfan Junejo (@irfanjunejo) February 2, 2018