The meeting will be hosted by Dubai’s Technology, E-Commerce & Media Free Zone (TECOM).
Top representatives from leading international and regional music companies will be attending the meeting. The international companies represented at the meeting will include BMG, EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner, while the regional music firms will include Founoon, Rotana and MegaStar. Senior officers of the Recording Association of America (RIAA) and IFPI will actively participate in this initiative.
The meeting carries high significance due to the presence of top executives from the five international companies which represent over 70 per cent of the US$ 38 billion music market, and the three regional companies which represent more than 85 per cent of the Arabic music industry in the MENA region.
“The rising incidence of music piracy in some countries of the MENA region is of major concern to music companies. The time has come for these music companies to lobby for support at the government level and within the community to combat music piracy,” said Frederic Giaccardo, MENA committee Chairman, IFPI. “The IFPI’s regional meeting promises to produce some concrete proposals that will create a program for fighting piracy across the region and to regulate the impending threat of illegal use of Internet technology.”
“IFPI has been actively combating music piracy in various countries, and has lobbied for anti-piracy legislations in some countries, in addition to working with local authorities to take action against music pirates,” said Trevor Pearcy, Director of Planning and Administration at the IFPI Secretariat headquarters. Regional music companies participating at this meeting produce and distribute over 85 per cent of all sound recording by Arab artists. Piracy has become a significant problem to these local companies in the Middle East region, mainly due to poor anti-piracy enforcement.
“The trade in pirated music is a worldwide problem that is depriving the music industry of billions of dollars in lost revenues,” added Shuckri Bundakji, President of BMG MENA. “In the Middle East, rampant piracy impedes social and financial development and foreign investment in local talent. Use of pirated music deprives consumers of high quality recordings and Arabic musicians and recording companies with the incentive to develop and market their local productions on a local and global scale. The result is simply a loss for national economies. Alternatively, a well regulated music industry brings benefits to all, generating employment and contributing to the economy.”
“The regional meeting of IFPI will serve to chalk out focused strategies for the region, keeping in mind the ground realities in each country,” said Giaccardo. “We are confident it will represent a major development in IFPI’s efforts to spread awareness about copyright laws and build stronger relationships with the region’s government and enforcement bodies to safeguard the rights of music companies.”
The UAE is among the few countries in the region where music piracy is relatively low, at under 10 per cent. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, however, have seriously high levels of piracy. In Lebanon, piracy is nearly 70 per cent, followed by Egypt at 50 per cent.
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