In what must be regarded as a singular honour for an Indian artist, he has been appointed the vice president of the International Confederation Of Authors and Composers Society (CISAC).
CISAC, a foreign body, monitors, guards and checks copyright laws all over the world for every form of creative pursuit.
In principle, Akhtar will now be fighting for copyright laws for artists all over the world.
Talking from Washington, he said he was “pleasantly surprised by this honour”.
“I guess my battle for copyright and royalty for Indian musicians reached this very prestigious global forum. As you might be aware, the CISAC comprises 121 countries. The apex body looks out for copyright issues in all these countries. So I’d say it’s a very big responsibility,” he said.
How did he get selected for the role?
“Back in 2011, I was at the CISAC headquarters in Brussels to give the keynote address at their summit. There, I spoke about my fight against copyright violation in India. I think they were impressed enough to follow my fight in India. And when the Indian parliament passed a copyright bill in favour of writers and musicians, the CISAC must have taken a decision to invite me on board as vice president,” he said.
“It’s an honour, yes but, also a huge responsibility,” added the 68-year-old.