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Moral Rights of Performers in the UAE, under Federal Law No.7 of 2002, a wide range of original and tangible works such as books, lectures, musicals, architectural plans, pictures, computer software, and other comparable productions are protected by copyright.

Copyright refers to the representation of an artist’s or author’s work in expressing a unique concept via craft. To have a “copyright” is to have the legal right to produce, modify, transmit, and generate copies of the original work. Soaring technical advancements and an increase in cyber theft have made copyright protection and enforcement a somewhat difficult affair. 

To protect one’s original works nationwide, our advocates in Dubai offer copyright registration services in Dubai and the UAE.

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What are the moral rights of performers in the UAE? 

The UAE Copyright law protects performers in the performing arts, such as music, video, dance, and any other type of performance art. As performers, actors are granted legal rights known as “performers’ rights,” which are similar to copyright in origin. The rights of performers are divided into two categories: Let us go over these rights one by one.

1. Economic rights: 

Economic rights are granted to performers under Article 17 of the UAE Copyright legislation. Economic rights allow intellectual property owners to earn financially from others’ usage of their works. The owner of a copyright-protected work, including performers’ rights, has the ability to decide how the work should be used and to prevent others from doing so without permission. The performer’s economic rights include:

  1. The right to record the performance as a sound or video recording:

the performer’s right to generate a sound or video recording. He may also allow others to record the live performance. Without the consent of the performer, no one else may utilize the sound recording.

  1. The reproduction of the audiovisual performance:

The performer shall have the right, among other things, to reproduce the audiovisual performance in numerous copies, to supply copies for commercial reasons on a rental basis, and to disseminate the work to the public.

  1. The right to broadcast and disseminate public performances

The performer has the right to broadcast and convey the performance to the general audience. Performers have the option to prevent others from broadcasting their live performances. Copyright infringement occurs when the performer’s permission is not acquired and his performance is transmitted by someone else.

2- Moral rights

Article 16 of the UAE Copyright law protects the performer’s moral rights. Moral rights allow performers to take particular actions to preserve and safeguard their work. The right contains the following:

The performer has the right to claim authorship of a work (also known as the right of attribution).

Right to integrity: The performer has the right to object to any distortion or alteration of work, as well as any other negative action about a work that would be detrimental to the author’s honor or reputation.

As a result, the Performer is entitled to the following moral rights:

  • Right to prevent their live performances from being fixed (recorded), 
  • Right to prevent their performances from being broadcasted.
  • Right to prohibit the communication of performance to the public (if communication to the public is made without the performer’s prior permission).
  • Right to restrict reproduction of fixations of performances in certain situations.

Furthermore, the rights of the producer of a sound recording are provided under Article 18 of the UAE Copyright Law as follows:

  • to permit or forbid the dissemination, importation, and replication of the performances’ recordings.
  • appropriate recompense for the transmission and dissemination of their recordings to the public.
  • to make their recordings available via computers, wireless or wired; other electronic devices, or both.

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The importance of protecting the moral rights of performers | law firms in Dubai

Moral Rights of Performers in the UAE
Moral Rights of Performers in the UAE

Performers’ rights in UAE are related or adjacent rights that are separate from the copyright that applies solely to writers, whereas related rights apply to performers, phonogram makers, and broadcasting organizations in connection to their performances, phonograms, and broadcasts. The following are some of the reasons why performers’ rights should be protected:

  • To protect the performer from illegal profit: 

With the invention of the internet and advanced digital technologies, the possibility of approved and illegal copying and digital alteration of performances has increased significantly, as has the industry’s global reach. Soon after people were able to record and sell unauthorized copies of live performances due to developments in recording technology, performers’ rights legislation was passed.

  • To inspire performers to produce original work.

Since performers’ creative participation is necessary to create works like motion pictures, musicals, plays, and choreographic works, their rights are recognized. Each performer’s performance demonstrates sufficient originality to be protected by copyright.

  • to protect performers’ artistic creations.

Performers must invest time, effort, expertise, and passion into their performance. Because performers have a legal right to protect their creative works, it is vital to safeguard their works.

  • To penalize illegal users.

Performers have a legitimate interest in being able to pursue illicit uses, whether these entail making and selling counterfeit copies (piracy) or broadcasting or transmitting their sound recordings without authorization to the general public.

FAQ about the moral Rights of Performers in the UAE | legal consultants in Dubai

Federal Law No. 38 of 2021 on Copyrights and Neighboring Rights defines an intellectual work as any unique literary, artistic, or scientific production, regardless of its description, mode of expression, importance, or goal. The following creative works are shielded by copyright legislation:

  1. Other literary works include books, pamphlets, and e
  2. Databases, computer programs, and other similar works as defined in a decision to be made by the Minister of Economy
  3. sermons, speeches, lectures, and other related works
  4. pantomimes, musicals, and plays
  5. musicals with conversation and those without
  6. audio-visual works, also known as audio-visual works
  7. Building projects, architectural blueprints, and architectural drawings
  8. Drawings, paintings, sculptures, lithographs, screenprints, reliefs, intaglio prints, and other types of artwork 
  9. photographs and similar art
  10. works of plastic and applied art
  11. Charts, maps, plans, three-dimensional modeling for topographical and geographical purposes, architectural designs, etc.
  12. Derivative works are subject to the protection given to the work(s) they are based on. The title of the work, if it was developed, as well as the original idea for broadcast content are both protected.

These rights include: 1) the decision to publish the work for the first time. 2) The right to claim work fatherhood. 3) The right to object to any change of the work that causes distortion or mutilation of the work or is detrimental to the author’s status.

3- Who is a performer as per the Moral Rights of Performers in the UAE?

Article (1) of the UAE Copyright Law defines performers as actors, singers, musicians, dancers, and anybody else who reads, sings, plays, or in any other way presents literary, artistic, or other works that are protected by this law or have entered the public domain. Performers also possess the relevant rights.

4- how long of Copyright Protection for Creators in the UAE

According to the moral rights of performers in the UAE law, an author or composer’s exclusive rights are protected from the moment their work is created until 50 years after their passing. The protection period for broadcasting companies ends twenty years from the initial transmission date, which is the beginning of the next calendar year. Under the UAE copyright protection legislation, there are some exceptions. These are legal records like statutes and agreements, periodicals and media pieces, as well as works that fall within the purview of public property.

5- what are the remedies against the performer’s rights infringement?

According to Article 37 of the UAE Copyright Law, anyone who conducts one of the following activities without written authorization from the holder of the relative rights or their successors suffers a minimum of two months in jail and a fine of AED 10,000, with a maximum penalty of AED 50,000. Nonetheless, the penalty might be increased in exceptional circumstances of the violation. Nevertheless, if the offense is committed again, the penalty must include at least six months in prison and a fine of AED 50,000.


To speak to us in relation to the copyright and related rights in Dubai, please feel free to contact one of the best lawyers in Dubai at Khairallah Advocates & Legal Consultants, which offers comprehensive business and corporate legal services, handling and advising on all aspects of UAE and international business transactions and serving as legal advisers implementing client values by working with them. Their in-house counsels yield a greater understanding of their needs and more effective management of their work.

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