October 24, 2008 11:58 am

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Vidpk.com has become a very popular videos sharing site and has attracted massive traffic. The portal can be easily termed as the Pakistani version of . One can view and upload videos, comment on them, join discussion groups and catch up with the latest Pakistani dramas and music videos. You can watch an intro that was aired on SAMAA TV here.

This writeup, however, is not an intro post on Vidpk.com. I would rather focus my energies on two important aspects, usability and copyrights infringement. Starting with usability of the site, one wonders why is there a need of another one when we already have Youtube. Does a Pakistan-centric video sharing platform really works? The answer is, yes it is actually working quite well. The reason for this success is the Pakistani touch. People wanted to see local content, both classic and contemporary, on a Pakistani platform. The users of the portal are quite proactive and one can find the latest episodes of Pakistani TV shows, dramas, music videos and even all the famous cooking shows (no wonder many Web savvy housewives are active members) within days after the actual airing. Many of these are not available on Youtube or are added quite late after the actual broadcast.

This brings me to the second topic; copyright infringement. Just like Youtube, the site faces copyright issues. Although we don’t have any active copyright laws implementation here but one has to be ethical about it. It’s not right to upload exclusive content without even asking for permissions. Pakistan Broadcasting Association also has some rules and regulations in place where they take actions against such cases but we have yet to see any development in this regard.

We have a copyright ordinance that was promulgated in 1962 under which the copy rights duration is fifty years.

The period of copyright of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work (other than a photograph) is the life of the author and 50 years thereafter. In the case of a cinematographic work and a photograph, copyright subsists until 50 years from the beginning of the calendar year from publication of the work.

But we are not even respecting that law for five day.

After doing a little research, I found that some production houses/TV channels are actually encouraging this trend. TRP rating has to be taken care of, after all. These entities usually upload the content 3-5 days after the actual airing and kick off the discussions, in some instances. However, what about those artists/production houses whose content is shared freely sans any permission? The ideal way of dealing with this situation is to impose restrictions on uploading and an in-house verification procedure. It’s about time we follow the ethical business procedures and protect the intellectual property rights.

Facebook comments:


  • Rest assured, almost all the TV channels have now started to become aware and get together on a forum to start taking action against copyright infringement.

    VidPK is on top of the list, as valuable brand dilution is being done here. Its only a matter on time when they will be strapped with a DCMA notice.

  • I think we can also approach the issue from another angle..

  • YouTube, facebook and other social networking websites have a major influence on local content developers.And I agree with Saad, that VIDPK has a Pakistani Touch to it.

    What if they start uploading it to youtube.com, if there is no vidpk.com


    What angle?

  • What do you guys think about all these drama and cooking videos on YouTube….doesnt that create a copyright issue???

    Yes Obaid what angle are you talking about here??

  • TEE BEE: Yes copyright issue exists on Youtube as well but atleast youtube is actively taking down copyrighted content.. is vidpk.com doing the same? i am guessing no..

    from the link on your previous comment, i am guessing that you are the owner of vidpk.com.. so really think about it, how are you going to monetize this? what’s the business model behind this? yes you are providing a “source” of entertainment but how are you going to run this as a business…

    zara soch meray bhai, you are sitting on a big big big opportunity.. find it before someone else does.. ;)

  • Riz

    If they start respecting copyright laws .. I am sure, there will remain less than 5% of videos :) and no attraction for viewers too.

  • Mackey

    I like this site because I can find video related to Pakistan easily.

    Someday when YouTube will consider Zaid Hamid offensive which other site you will turn to?

    As for copyright media should embrace this and upload programming, since no one has so much time to follow a particular program on a particular date on particular time with electricity being iffy to able to watch program completely. One of the reason why TiVo is so popular cos the TV revolves around you and not other way round.

  • @ Mackey – You have raised a good point.
    @ Obaid & TEE BEE – We would like to hear from TEE BEE if he is actually the man behind Vidpk :)

  • Its not jut YouTube or Vidpk websites, it takes a lot of paperwork, etc. to get work done to serve a DCMA notice and to follow up on it. Local TV channels were thrilled that they were on the Internet, but when Videopk, and other sites of the similar vertical start to monetize on other people’s content, then that is when the TV channels really understood what was going on…

    1. They were loosing advertising revenue
    2. Their TV Brand was totally diluted
    3. Their TV star was getting extra promotion – making the star a valuable commodity, but leaving the TV Channel vulnerable.

    Its only a matter of time before VideoPK and others start receiving DCMA Notices. In case you are wondering, yes, our company is assisting some of the famous channels in putting this all together.

  • M



    Are you from a Law company or something?

    Too bad these channels can only mess with these small/local websites. They never would have the guts to go after the likes of YouTube e.t.c. even though there are more copyright violations there.

  • Abbas

    Disclosure: I am the owner of vidpk.com.

    Thanks for the writeup Saad. You bring up some very good points. I will try to answer both your concerns below.

    First, regarding the need for a website like vidpk. The true power of vidpk lies in its “Pakistaniat”. It is true that Youtube has a huge number of videos. Even if you count just Pakistani videos, Youtube may very well have more Pakistani videos than vidpk, but there is no way to measure that. And therein lies the problem. People not only want content, but also an easy way to get to the content. Youtube for Pakistanis is like drinking from a firehose. vidpk gives Pakistanis not only the content they want, but also the ability to get to the content fast.
    We also work very hard on keeping vidpk truly Pakistani, and I think thats one of the biggest reasons for the success of vidpk. vidpk appeals to users because they feel a connection to the videos and the users on there.

    Regarding the copyright issue, I completely agree with you. Copyright is a big issue, and we take it really seriously. We definitely do not want to “steal” these videos from TV channels. It is their property, they work on it, and they deserve the credit for it. Our strategy to address this issue is two pronged:
    1) Most of our videos are user uploaded. It s almost impossible to detect and verify every single video being uploaded. However, whenever we get any complaints from a content producer, we take it as our highest priority to address their concerns, even if it means taking down some videos.
    2) We are in touch with TV channels to make deals with them regarding their content. vidpk is just a platform; we do not produce any content. However, we believe this is the ideal platform for Pakistani content producers, TV channels etc to spread their word out to the world. We believe this will be beneficial (and also profitable) for both vidpk and the channels. We have a number of revenue sharing programs that we are working with TV channels on.

    Feel free to get back to me with any questions or concerns. We love feedback at vidpk. :)

    – Abbas

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