BelTA Can Sue “Narodnaya Volia”
If the “Narodnaya Volia” independent newspaper doesn’t make a contract with the BelTA information agency concerning the distribution of Belarusian TVdiary, it can face with a court suit.
It was stated in the warning, received by the newspaper’s editorial staff from the BelTA authorities. “Narodnaya Volia” stated that TV and radio diaries are not an object of copyright and can’t be freely published by any newspaper.
BelTA refers to its exclusive right to distribute weekly diaries of Belarusian TV and states that its publication without an appropriate agreement with the agency can be punished according to the Civil Code of the Republic of Belarus. Besides, the agency director Zmitser Zhuk threatened to exact a considerable sum from the agency as a compensation of the inflicted harm.
On 8 April the chief editor of “Narodnaya Volila” Iosif Siaredzich directed to BelTa his answer in which he stated his readiness to consider proposals concerning the pack of 9 channels in the publishing of which the newspaper is quite interested (BelTA proposes to the edition only the diary pack for several dozens of channels with previews at the cost of 5 025 000 rubles). “Concerning your statements that the newspaper “Narodnaya Volia” repeatedly published TV diaries without the appropriate agreement, I consider it necessary to explain that it doesn’t violate the demands of the present legislation of the Republic of Belarus. According to the law, TV and radio diaries as information about the time of broadcasts are not an object of copyright and can be freely published by any newspapers in the case when they are not accompanied by the products, secured by copyright (such as previews). That’s why I consider your pretensions groundless”, -- is said in the answer.
Press service of the PA “Belarusian Association of Journalists”