Intellectual property protection has, in recent years, become an increasing area of interest within the legal field, in particular with regards to copyrights and trademark protection.

These matters are often discussed in terms of the length of protection provided, and the steps necessary for registration with the relevant authority, however, an often-overlooked area of intellectual property law, concerns the rights of a performer during public performances, which are assumed to be owned by the general Egyptian public.

Despite this, however, there has been a surge in cases which dispute who exactly is entitled to protection for a piece of art which is publicly performed by an actor, since, the creation of this art was done collaboratively and as a result of the efforts of multiple parties. In this case, one's initial reaction would be to claim that the work of art belongs to the author of the script, since, when compared to traditional copyright matters concerning books, articles or research papers, this would likely be the case. However, a closer look at the law would actually suggest otherwise.

Since the performers (defined as those who act, sing, deliver, declaim, play, dance or otherwise perform, including expressions of folklore, in literary or artistic works protected by the provisions of this Law or belonging to the public domain) are protected by this law which prohibits amending, recreating, changing or exploiting an artist's performance for monetary gain, whether directly or indirectly, without clear prior written notice from the performer, or else face potential fines and claims for compensation both under civil and criminal law.

As media accessibility increases, technological advancements continue, and more artistic works become available to the public, this issue will continue to be discussed. With this in mind, this article sheds light on the related intellectual property rights, as stated in Law No. 82 of 2002.

The below link references a case concerning the exploitation of a performer's rights before the Egyptian courts.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.