Gulf artists missing out due to lack of copyright enforcement

The problem, however, is not restricted to the Middle East, as musicians and songwriters across the world battle to be paid for their content.

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ABU DHABI // Artists across the region are missing out on tens of millions of dirhams per year due to a lack of copyright enforcement.

Yassine Watson-Bedaisi, managing director of PopArabia, said the cost-per-play for a song on radio or streaming service is not defined at present.

“Even in areas where such organisations exist the cost-per-play varies widely depending on the different types of uses of the material.”

He said the important number to remember was that at least Dh20 million per year is being lost by artists in the region from missed royalties.

“If everybody was paying for the music within the context of a fully established royalty-paying infrastructure the number would definitely be a lot higher than this.”

The problem however is not restricted to the Middle East, as musicians and songwriters across the world battle to be paid for their content.

The introduction of music streaming services has made the issue more complex.

British singer Adele announced last month her new album “25”, would not be available for streaming on Apple Music or Spotify - a move which most attribute to the low payments offered by the services to artists for each play of a song.

Last year American singer Taylor Swift withdrew her music from Spotify, claiming it was allowing users to listen for free.

To confuse the situation further, royalities are also dependant on the region or country where a song is played, with differing amounts being offered by companies for artists’ material.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

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