CISAC Urges Serbian Public Broadcaster to Respect Copyright Law
The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), based in Paris, France, has written to Serbian top officials urging the public broadcaster Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) to respect the Copyright Law and pay royalties to musicians whose music it continues to illegally broadcast.
In a letter to Serbia’s President Boris Tadic, Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic and the head of RTS Aleksandar Tijanic, the president of CISAC Robin Gibbs stated that RTS keeps broadcasting music even though it has not signed a license agreement with the Serbian copyright protection organization SOKOJ.
“During my long career as a musician, member of the Bee Geez and CISAC president, I have never seen a state broadcaster that shows such shocking disregard for its undisputed obligations concerning the use of copyrighted material,” Gibbs stated in his letter from November 2009.
Serbian news agency Beta reported on February 25, 2010 that the director of SOKOJ Aleksandar Kovacevic stated at a recent press conference that SOKOJ has been involved in a three-year-long legal battle with RTS over the nonpayment of royalties and that the total debt of the broadcaster amounts to EUR 3 million (USD 4.1 million).
Tijanic claims that in 2006 SOKOJ single-handedly terminated its contract with RTS while introducing new, five times higher copyright rates.
“We cannot pay the same rates as the commercial media that broadcast only folk music, because the law obliges us to also broadcast classical music, native music, jazz and children’s choirs. This is why the court case has been going on for three years, because they have not agreed to find a solution. They refuse to determine how much (of their) music we broadcast and that’s where the problem lies,” argued Tijanic.
For more information, please contact Jelena Jankovic in our Balkan Regional Office.
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