Almost five decades after his death, Umm Kultum continues to be the voice of the planet, a new attempt to evoke his voice with new words and melodies through artificial intelligence technology, an effort that has caused great uproar in Egypt. .
Music composer Amr Mustafa posted an ad for a song titled “I Think of You” on one of his social media accounts with a picture of Umm Kulthum next to his picture.
Mustafa, who noted on social media that he had provided many melodies to various stars in the Arab world over 24 years, has since mentioned that before the post was deleted, he wanted to know the outcome if Umm Kulthum sang a song in his song. .
Mustafa’s particular new experience of reclaiming tradition, as he described it, in which he sought the voice of Umm Kulthum, sparked a great deal of controversy in art circles and social media.
The announcement of this new song was welcomed by some, especially the new generation, and strongly opposed by some, and some felt that the composer wanted to go to one of the most popular singers in the Arab world and imitate his voice to gain fame. For his new experience.
Objections to the use of Umm Kulthum’s voice
Producer Mohsen Zafar said at a recent Egyptian show that Umm Kulthum’s songs have intellectual property rights and that no one has the right to use Umm Kulthum’s voice or image in this way. Intellectual property of Umm Kulthum.
In response to these criticisms, Amr Mustafa defended his experience and insisted that Umm Kultum only had the right to sing from existing songs, and that what he was offering the public was a new template and a new song, “and no. One has the right to isolate him or her creativity.”
Mustafa pointed out that the generated voice was created by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and therefore not entirely Umm Kulthum.
However, Egyptian producer Mohsen Jaber says that the composer has the right to create a similar sound through new technology, but using the name or image or referring to Umm Kulthum singing from his melodious song gets legal rights.
Jafar pointed out that there is no comparison with the melodies provided by Balik Hamdi, Al-Sunbadi or Abdel-Wahhab, and that there is a difference between Amr’s rendering and Ms. Umm Kulthum’s molds that were specially cast by these composers. According to him.
Some of Amr Mustafa’s followers in the media expressed their longing to hear Ms. Umm Kulthum’s voice with a new experience, and some of them expressed their happiness because it heralds a new era for these fans to belong to this idea.
Artificial intelligence is creating a legal problem in countries around the world
Artificial intelligence poses a legal dilemma around the world, as some say it represents a moral catastrophe, with no personal creativity for the author to create fictional stories about real people or use new technology to write literary essays. That comes into the world and raises legal issues.
“Most of the world’s laws are still not compatible with those created by artificial intelligence, which has surprised the world with its endless capabilities,” Professor Noorhan Moussa, a researcher at the National Center for Intellectual Property Rights, told the BBC. This is the current situation in Egypt and the current law that came into force in 2002 protects intellectual property rights, public performance or marketing and other rights, but it needs to be updated in the light of the new.
Some believe that stricter definitions and rules based on reality may be needed to control the use of artificial intelligence.
Others express their fear that the necessary legal changes may lower the ceiling of creativity open to artificial intelligence and that since creativity is associated with thinking outside the box and creating new things, the creator has the right to create something new. Ask about the added value of this type of creativity.
Noorhan Moussa said that security is for human production and coming out of it, what we have now is not purely human material, and here the question arises about the intellectual property of the new product, is it for its owner? The idea or its implementer, in this case “artificial intelligence”.
Moussa says that if Amr Mustafa uses Umm Kulthum’s image or name, or impersonates her voice, or markets or publishes it, he must get permission from the heirs or those who have rights to the intellectual property rights, otherwise the work may come under penalty. Law asserts that Umm Kultum is a symbol of Arabic song.
On the other hand, Mustafa announced his withdrawal from using Umm Kulthum’s image and deleting it from his account, which was documented on Instagram, but he said, “There is a traditional revival project, but without using any person’s image or name, to protect the rights of others.”
Mustafa said in a post on his account that he had contacted a lawyer for Umm Kulthum’s heirs and was on his way to get the necessary approvals for the new currency. the way
For his part, Yaser Khandush, the lawyer of Ms Umm Kulthum’s heirs, said that according to Amr’s record, he postponed the complaint against the famous musician on the recommendation of Ms Umm Kulthum’s heirs after meeting him. .
Protected under intellectual property law for fifty years, Arabic Singing Lady insists that the content provided by no other company belongs to any other company and that the deal with composer Amr Mustafa is a new production. Property rights, whether for the film or not, belong to Calthum or his successors in voice in the new production.
What is the added value behind the work??
This experience raises questions about Umm Kulthum’s creation of a new song, about the added value of creation in his artistic life, and about the monopoly of the creator, regardless of the words and melody he deems appropriate from his creative point of view. In terms of culture, message, sound, and actual live performance, it may or may not match the Eastern Planet.
Some critics believe that the true judgment of this experience rests with the public, while others fear the destruction of symbols under the pretext of renewal.
Between this and that, Umm Kulthum’s songs still represent, according to many, an artistic and philosophical model of the meanings of love and beauty, and her voice remains strong through the ages, despite her passing fifty years ago.
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