October 16, 2021

Beyond Going Long

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Deputies will receive a bill to abolish the mandatory quota of Slovak music for private radio stations

Private radios are no longer obligated to comply with the established quota of Slovak songs in the broadcast. The obligation should remain only for RTVS.

This comes on the heels of the draft law submitted on media services and on amending some laws from the workshop of the Ministry of Culture (MK) SR, which is currently in the process of commenting.

There was a collective comment against the change, which was not justified in the bill, supported by a petition. The signatories demand that existing legislation be implemented in the proposed law, under which private radio stations are required to include at least 25% of local production and 35% of RTVS radio broadcasts.

“Leaving the quota to the public broadcaster only in accordance with the proposal of the Ministry of Culture could not meet the specific objectives of the legislator regarding the number of broadcasters operating in the territory of the Slovak Republic. Moreover, the introduction of such a discriminatory measure would create a situation in which Slovak music works are broadcasted infrequently. Maine only on public broadcasters with a relatively specific audience,” argue the commentary authors and petition signers.

People wanted to hear more Slovak songs

They state that the legislative change, which has introduced quotas for Slovak music on radio since April 2016, was prompted by support for Slovak works as part of the cultural heritage and also based on opinion polls that presented the will of listeners to hear more Slovak songs on the radio. They also refer to the statistics of the Slovak Authors’ Protection Association (SOZA), according to which not only the share of Slovak music has increased, but also the representation of new artists after the introduction of the quota system.

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They noted that “while on average 1,613 Slovak composers used their works in 2013-2015, in the three years since the introduction of the quota system, their number increased by an average of 29 percent to 2,082 Slovak musicians.” An increased share of Slovak music also means that royalties for authors can be increased. Finally, they state that the introduction of a quota system for Slovak music withstood the Constitutional Court (CC), which stated the reasonableness of the regulation in order to support national actions.

Also in other countries of the European Union

In addition, the CC stressed that these are not unique funds specific to the Slovak Republic, but are used as standard by lawmakers in other EU countries (eg France, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Hungary, Denmark and Croatia), they add. Authors’ comments.

The new audiovisual bill is set to comprehensively replace the two existing legal regulations – the Broadcasting and Retransmission Act and the so-called Digital Broadcasting Act. The legislation responds to changes and developments in broadcasting and retransmission in the digital environment and thus expands, among other things, the regulatory framework for audiovisual media services to include video sharing platforms. The proposal conveys European directives, and modifies existing legal regulations on the basis of the practice of implementation. It expands the duties of the organizer, increases the share of multimedia broadcasting, and also regulates provisions on property and employee relations related to the media.