Contrary to popular belief, copyright rules and regulations exist in the Middle East. Here are 7 facts about copyright in the GCC.

1. Automatic music copyrights

According to the law, any original creation is considered copyrighted upon its creation. You do not need to register it legally as being copyrighted.

A copyright, in terms of a musical composition, is the right to own and license that work. It’s the right to be both recognized and compensated.  One of the biggest concerns for musicians and songwriters is how to copyright their work. A music copyright is considered automatic in most countries across the world. That said, submitting musical works before the proper government agency in their home country is useful for songwriters in the event of a legal dispute.

2. International copyright recognition

All five members of the Gulf Cooperation Council have signed onto the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. This treaty was created in Berne, Switzerland in 1886. The GCC would not exist for another 100 years, but as more recent signatories to the treaty, the GCC recognizes the copyrights of every other member country. Of the 195 countries in the world today, 177 have signed the treaty.

3. Extended protection

Copyright in the GCC nation of Bahrain is unique in a few ways, one of which is the length of protection allowed after the death of the copyright holder. The law protects a composer’s work for 70 years after death which is 20 years longer than typical copyright law. Also in Bahrain, if the owner of a copyright feels their work is being infringed upon, they can request that the customs authority seize the materials considered in violation.

4. Increased penalties

The copyright law Kuwait introduced in 2016 increased the penalties for unauthorized use of an author’s work. This new copyright law doubled the maximum prison term to two years and greatly increased the maximum fine. Any establishment that is found in violation can be shut down and repeat offenders may have their trade license revoked.

5. Moral rights and protections

Both Qatari and Omani copyright laws grant creators rights similar to the laws of copyright in the GCC. There is the right to reproduce the work, to rearrange, to sell copies of it to the public, and to perform the work publicly. One of the moral rights granted to the copyright holder is the right to object to any use of the work that may damage the author’s honor or reputation.

6. Transfer of copyright

The UAE copyright law grants rights to the creator regardless of who commissioned the work. This means employers do not own the copyright of the work their employees create as is standard in most countries. Of course, this is the case only in the absence of a written contract between employer and employee about the transfer of rights.

Read more about copyright in the Middle East.

Understanding music licensing

Music Licensing is another topic that many musicians do not fully understand. Music licensing is a way for musicians and composers to have their songs and compositions featured in popular movies, television shows, and commercials. In most cases, these producers and directors use a royalty free music library like MusicGrid.

Uploading your music to our website is a great way to have your tracks placed in ads, tv shows, films, video games and more.

Be heard, and get paid. Submit your music now. Visit our website!