Ownership rights to Umm Kulthum's music sparks controversy

Ownership rights to Umm Kulthum's music sparks controversy
A battle between two music companies for the rights to the music of Umm Kulthum continues in Egypt.
2 min read
30 September, 2020
Umm Kulthum's music is still famous [Wiki]

The battle for the rights of legendary Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum's work has been renewed after a producer and owner of Starz media company claimed the rights to her songs.

The Supreme Council for Media Relations in Egypt warned all broadcasters against playing any songs by the late singer without written permission from Voice of Cairo.

Rival company Starz also claimed the rights to her work and has been engaged in a protracted legal battle to win the full rights of the Enta Omri singer's music.

Read also: US-based Egyptian filmmaker detained in Egypt in 'outrageous' crackdown on artistic freedom

"The songs of Umm Kulthum in the law are my property," said Starz CEO Mohsin Jaber.

"The ruling referred to by Voice of Cairo never mentioned that Voice of Cairo Company is the owner of Umm Kulthum's works. On the contrary, the court said that Stars for Artistic Production is the owner of the rights to exploit these works, and that it authorised the Cairo Voice Company to exploit them."

Jaber also demanded compensation from Voice of Cairo for alleged damages.

Umm Kulthum, who is an Egyptian musical icon and famous for singing with a handkerchief in her hand, became one of the most popular Arab singers from the 1930s. She died in 1975, age 76.

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