The Government and the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services(AAVMU) yesterday and today exchanged sharp objections to the problems in media sphere in the past period, following the accusation from the Minister Robert Popovski on Friday that the Agency has not functioned and did not perform its competences for years, in the context retransmission of foreign programming services without copyright.
AAVMU reacted yesterday that it was a “non-argued, lump-sum statements whose intention is to discredit the work of the Agency, and it is especially surprising that they are given by a minister whose primary task should be accurate and well-informed information to the public”.
AAVMU says that the operators that re-transmit programs must register with the Agency, and at the same time submit a statement under full responsibility that there are copyright and related rights for the re-transmission of the program packages.
“The Agency regularly monitors the cable operators and if it establish that some operator re-transmit unregistered program services, it imposes a measure on it and instructs him to immediately shut down the program services. At the same time, the Agency inform the right-holders, in order to initiate appropriate procedure against the operator, keeping in mind that the Agency has no opportunity to initiate court procedure on their behalf,” says the reaction from AAVMU.
In 2015, the Agency stated 62 measures and instigated 23 infringement proceedings, and in 2016 stated 13 measures without one infringement procedure. Last year, only six measures were imposed, again, without a single infringement procedure.
“Given the fact that the scope and the number of surveillance carried out are on the same level in the years indicated, a significant reduction in violations shows only one thing- that the Agency ensures consistent implementation of the law”, says the reaction.
The Government of the Republic of Macedonia reacted again today to AVMU saying that the Agency can not avoid responsibility for the media chaos in the past years.
“As a regulatory body for media in Macedonia, AVMU is directly responsible for yearly uninterrupted political and financial dictation on the media, vague and unregulated relations between the operators and the media, copyright infringement, etc. The Agency Is vainly trying to hide behind overturned numbers and statistics that has not given any effect on preventing such disorder in the media sphere in the country. The media disorder was constantly silenced by the competent institutions, among which the initial call to put the AVMU in order. This has resulted in the need for amendments to the Law of Audio and Audiovisual Media Services,” stands in the Government’s reaction.
The text is made within the framework of the project “Media Reform Observatory”, implemented by the Foundation for Internet and Society Metamorphosis, “Agora” Center for Promoting Civil Values and the Platform for Investigative Journalism and Analyzes – PINA, with the financial support of the “Foundation Open” Society – Macedonia “. The content of the text is the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be considered to reflect the views of the “Open Society Foundation – Macedonia”.