Emaar inks deal to protect Dubai Fountain music rights

New licence will ensure musicians earn royalties for their work used in Dubai Fountain performances
The Dubai Fountain
By Andy Sambidge
Tue 09 Aug 2011 06:15 PM

PRS for Music and SACEM said on Tuesday an agreement had been inked with Emaar Properties to license the public performance of music that accompanies The Dubai Fountain in Downtown Dubai.

The deal is the first significant public performance licence issued in the UAE and will ensure that those creators whose music is choreographed will now earn royalties when their music is used, a statement said.

At present, there is no local collecting society operating in the area, meaning that the creators behind music publicly performed including concerts, on television, radio or in films, do not receive royalties.

PRS for Music and SACEM said they are now working together to provide businesses with the necessary information to understand licensing requirements that respect UAE law.

The Dubai Fountain, the world's tallest performing fountain, uses a range of music from classical to contemporary Arabic and world music.

Karen Buse, international director for PRS for Music said: "We are committed to ensure that our members receive royalties whenever their music is used and we are delighted with this first deal with Emaar Properties in the UAE for The Dubai Fountain.

"Creators rely on their royalties to continue to make the music we all love so this will be welcome news not just for PRS for Music members but also those represented through our global reciprocal agreements."

Thierry Desurmont, vice president of SACEM added: "Among its 132,000 members, SACEM has 15,500 foreign right holders of which 5,000 are from the Arab World.

"The agreement concluded with Emaar Properties is a new step towards the recognition and protection of the interests of Arab creators in the World."

Ahmad Al Matrooshi, managing director, Emaar Properties, said: "As a public joint stock company that values intellectual property rights, Emaar is committed to upholding the implementation of all relevant copyrights across its entire spectrum of operations.

"This marks a milestone for the music industry, and Emaar is privileged to be at the forefront in driving a positive initiative that values creative ownership."

The Dubai Fountain is over 900ft in length - equivalent to two football fields - and about 25 percent larger than The Bellagio Fountain in Las Vegas.

Over 6,600 lights and 25 colour projectors create a visual spectrum of more than 1,000 different water expressions that appeal to visitors.

Different combinations of Dubai Fountain perform to selected musical pieces - chosen from a range of classical to contemporary Arabic and world music.

Discussions have already begun with Emaar Properties regarding licensing requirements for its other properties and interests.

PRS for Music are working in partnership with SACEM and government authorities in the region, to help establish a local society. In the meantime they are looking to license direct to protect members' rights in the UAE.

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