MEDIA AND MUSIC PRODUCERS TO MEET AT COURT
The Bulgarian National Television (BNT) signed an agreement with the Organisation for Collective Management of the Copyrights of Recordings' Producers (PROFON), the press centre of the media announced. After signing this agreement BNT receives a permission to show as of August 1 till the end of the year videos from the catalogues of all the 30 companies - members of the organisation. This covers about 90% of the music production circulating on the market.BNT refused to disclose the exact amount it would pay to PROFON, but insiders from both parties mentioned something like BGN40,000. Even if this is not the exact amount, the deal can be considered as quite advantageous for BNT. Especially if we recall that not so long ago PROFON was demanding to be paid BGN1MN for 365 days. As the BANKER weekly has already written, in December 2002, the producers' organisation made agreement with the other state-owned media - the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR). According to inofficial information, in 2003 BNR must pay BGN80,000 for the right to broadcast the music of the biggest recording companies in Bulgaria and abroad.While the state-owned media are gradually settling their relationships with PROFON, the tension between this organisation and the private radio stations and televisions in Bulgaria is obviously growing. On Wednesday (August 6) the Association of Private Electronic Media (ABRO) deposited a claim at the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition, protesting against the size of fees, collected by producers for the copyrights of their performers. Early this year PROFON sent a letter to all television and radio stations in the country to inform them that as of August 1 they had to sign new contracts, to replace the exisiting barter agreements between media and publishers. A week ago the co-owner of the cable music channel MM Kamen Vodenicharov announced that the company claims 4% of the private media's proceeds if their broadcasting time includes more than 60% of music. The information radio stations and televisions will be charged 2 per cent.The company has also introduced a minimum fixed threshold of deductions. The members of PROFON calculate the barters for advertisement of their own catalogues on MM's air as proceeds of the television and exact deductions on them as well. This is an absurdity, comments Mr. Vodenicharov. He announced that he had terminated his partnership with PROFON and that henceforward would provide music only from independent labels.About two months ago Nova TV also boasted on having settled its relationships with the organisation till the end of the year. It's a well-knwon fact, however, that BTV has also failed to sign a contract for the rights of the music broadcasted. The same holds true about more than 90% of the private local radio stations. In May ABRO officially complained to the Ministry of Culture and the National Assembly of the racketeering-like practices of PROFON.