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When will TV8 pass to the "Media Alternativa" Association? Natalia Morari: "It seems everything is directed"

02 October 2017
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In an interview published by Media-azi.md on February 27th 2017, journalist Natalia Morari spoke about the reorganization of TV7 channel, which was going to be managed by a public association founded by journalists that according to Natalia Morari "will hold 75% of the shares". On march 13th 2017 Public Association "Media Alternativa" was registered, and on June 13th the Broadcasting Coordination Council (BCC) vetted the the name change (from TV7 to TV8), approving also the new program schedule. However, TV8 channel is still property of Analitic Media Grup, (represented by Alexandra and Petru Lucinschi, children of politician Chiril Lucinschi, with 49 and 51 percent shares). Why is the transfer of license from Analitic Media Grup to Media Alternativa still pending? 

BCC postponed the transfer of license

With a unanimous vote the members of BCC decided in a September 4th meeting to postpone the request for license transfer from Analitic Media Grup to the Public Association "Media Alternativa". The request was sent on August 17th and reached the BCC by August 21st of the current year. The BCC members motivated their decision by receipt of two requests on August 28th from the Republican Copyright Office (ORDA) and the National Association "Copyright" (ANCO), through which they requested the non-admittance of the transferral of the broadcasting license issued for Analitic Media Grup due to a litigation related to the management of author rights. Another reason for the postponement was the absence of representatives of the radio broadcaster at that meeting.

ORDA and ANCO pretend more than one million MDL from Analitic Media Grup

ORDA (led by musician Adrian Ursu) and ANCO (presided by composer Liviu Stirbu) consider that the present owner of TV8 Analitic Media Grup owes them 1.200.000 MDL copyright fees for the use of protected works in various musical programmes. On July 27th, both organizations filed a lawsuit against Analitic Media Grup requesting damages. The copyright organizations support their claims with the fact that the State Agency on Intellectual Property (AGEPI) has granted them permission to issue licenses for public communication via ether, cable and Internet and for retransmission via ether and cable.

Representatives of both organizations attached to the lawsuits copies of documents ascertaining the violation of author rights, issued by  Dmitri Novicov, judicial executor, who had seen the programmes broadcasted on TV7 during June 5th-8th 2017. After revisions, Novicov established, for example, that only for broadcasting Adrian Ursu's song "Tu esti tot ce mi-am dorit" (Engl. "You're everything I've wanted") on June 5th and 6th, the TV channel should have paid around 9.000 MDL. Overall, the judicial executor detected damages amounting to 1.200.000 MDL, only for the monitored period.

"In the attached dossier there are some detailed calculations made for each work, mentioning the timespan and the names of authors, musicians, phonogram producers, music authors, text authors names. Each work has its share, as well as every holder of it has. For example, if a music band contains six people, each of them has, naturally, a quota", explains lawyer of ORDA and ANCO, Alexandr Melnic for Media-azi.md. Moreover, he declares that he had sent prior requests to Analitic Media Grup on April 28th 2015 and June 14th 2017, soliciting the signature of contracts and payment of royalties, but these were left unanswered.

What are Analitic Media Grup’s comment

In turn, representatives of Analitic Media Grup claim that they have paid all the royalties, but to other associations that also protect the rights of art people. The lawyer of Analitic Media Grup Victor Pantiru believes the problems appeared because of misunderstandings between the organizations protecting author rights.

"They assert that certain rights have been violated and they are legal persons who can defend these rights. (...) But a legal person pays only to one organization, and this way conflicts appear", told us Victor Pantiru.

Natalia Morari, char of the Public Association "Media Alternativa" has the same opinion: "We have papers proving that Analitic Media Grup has made payments to another copyright association. The fact that associations cannot agree is not our problem", Natalia Morari declared.
Morari also believes that the actions of plaintiffs could have been premeditated and that the initiators could have hidden intentions: "The ORDA Association filed the lawsuit against Analitic Media Grup exactly at the time when we were preparing the papers for license transfer. That is why everything that happened seems to be directed", Natalia Morari states.

The examination of the lawsuit of ORDA and ANCO against Analitic Media Grup will take place on October 26th 2017.

It is worth noting that "Media Alternativa" is expected to receive in excess of 170.000 EUR from the European Endowment for Democracy Foundation. According to some sources who spoke unofficially to Media-azi.md, this money will be allocated to the Public Association "Media Alternativa" only after the transfer of TV8 ownership from Analitic Media Grup will be completed.