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Photo by Mrinal Kaul

Pragnya Wakhlu alleges her album was taken down from streaming platforms at behest of major label

New Delhi-based Kashmiri singer-songwriter Pragnya Wakhlu in a series of Instagram stories alleged that her 2017 album, Kahwa Speaks, was taken down from all music streaming platforms at the behest of a major music label.

Pragnya put out a post on Instagram on Wednesday where she stated that her entire album was taken down from the streaming platforms after the label put out a copyright claim on the title track of the album.

The singer-songwriter found out that her songs were not available on streaming platforms after a listener messaged her saying that they could not find Kahwa Speaks on Spotify. Pragnya then contacted her distributor, Songdew, to find out the reason for this issue. The distribution company informed her that they received a claim on one of her songs, and they took it down as a preventive measure. However, the entire album is still available on the music distributor’s own platform at the time of writing this article and has over 19,000 plays.

Even though, erroneous copyright claims are a common occurrence due to the automated nature of the copyright protection mechanisms, most music distributors, as a courtesy, inform the artist when they receive any such claims before initiating a take down.

After putting out a series of Instagram stories to narrate her ordeal, many fellow independent musicians came out supporting Pragnya and speaking out against the heavy-handedness of the major music labels in India.

Mumbai-based musician Anand Bhaskar reshared Pragnya’s story and commented, “This just happened to Pragnya. It can happen to any of us.”

Singer-songwriter Abdon Mech commented, “This just breaks my heart so much. I can’t imagine a song being taken down let alone the entire album. You don’t know the half of what we go through to release even one song. Working alone mentally physically emotionally from scratch till the official release.”

With the issue gaining more traction, Pragnya hopes that her album will be reinstated soon.