Egyptian TV faces biggest lawsuit
A court in north Cairo has postponed the first lawsuit of its type filed against the Egyptian TV demanding for five million pounds compensation, according to Asharq al Awsat newspaper.
The case, filed by Mohsen Jaber’s Art World Company, marks the biggest compensation sum the Egyptian TV has ever faced since its launch in the sixties.
The most successful program in Egypt “Sukout Hanghanni” (Quiet We Will Sing), aired by channel one, has been the reason behind all this the trouble. Hisham Abbas’s episode in the program, shot in the Luxor and that included his latest songs, has flared the dispute. The plaintiff who monopolizes Hisham Abbas viewed airing of the song as an assault on his company’s rights.
The episode was aired last May with few shots from Abbas’s latest album produced by the company. The program aired the new “Haloh Min Hali” (His Condition Like Mine) song, written by Amir Ta’imah and composed by Riyadh al Hamshari, and “Billail” (At Night) song, written by Ayman Bahgat Amar and composed by Hamad Rahim.
The program preparer, Alaa Daghs told Asharq al Awsat, “what happened was not an assault for the company’s property. When we made the offer to Abbas he was fully aware that he would give us some of his songs to be aired during the program. He even promised to present the videos as a gift for the program team members who presented along with him a very unique episode hailed by the fans inside Egypt as well as the Arab World. Each of the two songs which sparked the dispute did not last more than 45 seconds.”
“The airing of Hisham’s episode was announced three weeks before. If there was any objection, the company could have demanded the halt of the broadcasting, but this did not happen,” added Dughs.
For his part, producer Mohsen Gaber told Asharq al Awsat that he incurred big financial and moral damages as a result of airing the songs without taking prior permission from him. “In accordance with article 6, Copyright Protection Law No. 354 for the year 1954 and amendments to it, the company has the right to exploit its production financially whether through conveying it to the public directly or through radio broadcasting. Upon signing the contract with Hisham, all financial rights have become the property of the company. Therefore I have the right to demand satisfactory compensation for the financial and moral losses I incurred.” Gaber said.
“At the same time I do not deny that the program secured a high degree of acclaim both by the Egyptian and Arab world fans. Despite this I demanded the halt of airing all Abbas’s songs which my company owns their copyright without any prior written consent,” added Gaber.
As for singer Abbas who has fallen into real trouble not knowing how to satisfy the production company, his fans and the Egyptian TV simultaneously. He preferred to decline from any comments and closed his mobile leaving his home telephone for the answering machine. - Albawaba.com