BKP teams up with The Rights Lawyers

Two Dubai-based companies join hands to create more awareness about the need to adhere to international copyright laws.

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By  Vijaya Cherian Published  June 3, 2004

Audio specialist, Barry Kirsch Productions has teamed up with The Rights Lawyers to create more awareness about copyright laws and guidelines on how to obtain a synchronisation license from copyright holders. Such licenses are required when clients request an existing music track for use in a film, TV commercial, radio commercial or any other medium where that copyright will be exposed to promote a third party’s interest. “Companies are beginning to realise the importance of adhering to correct guidelines when using copyrighted materials but are not aware of procedures,” commented Barry Kirsch, owner of BKP. “The region is waking up to the issue and the difficulties presented may discourage the use of using materials legally. Help is at hand though as the music industry teams up with legal firms to do it the right way.” If an existing track is to be used as is, clearances are needed for phonographic (the right that exists in the recording) and publishing (the right that exists in the copyright) before using the material. If the intention is to re-record a work then only one clearance will be required for publishing. The Rights Lawyers warned that advertising agencies and production houses need to be aware that if they do not clear the music rights first, they may be facing a liability towards the copyright owners, as well as a potential liability towards their clients. “Our role is to help agencies and clients find a safe and commercial way to use the piece of music they believe will really make the difference,¨ Lara Haidar, partner at The Rights Lawyers, said. ¨We work with them to determine what they wish to use, how, what kind of permission they will need and how to get that permission,¨ she continued. She also explained that there are no guarantees for getting a music license. “It is always the decision of the copyright owner whether to grant a synch license or not and the prices often depend on the value that the rights owners place on the work and the contractual position of the work. For instance, there may be a worldwide deal already in place,” she added. Getting approvals for Arabic copyrights, however, is likely to be extremely difficult because of the vagaries of where the rights sit. Tracking the rights is a complex issue that must be addressed in the region. According to Haidar, the region must begin this process by first setting up a copyright society in the GCC.

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