Polish voice over readers on the war path for royalties

By Katarzyna Grynienko
    The 2007 amendment to the Polish copyright law extended royalty rights to film and TV voice-over readers, who have formed an association to enforce the new regulations.
    According to the Gazeta Wyborcza, over 30 profesional movie voice-over readers, or lectors, gathered at the November 19 founding meeting for The Polish Lectors Association. The Association's President, Dariusz Zaluski predicts that the group should become active in six months. A week after launching it already unites 50 Polish lectors, half of all professionals currently working.

    The Polish voice-over readers found it necessary to take matters in their own hand after the amendment to the copywright law failed to bring royalties for the use of their work. They want to inforce payment for the emission of TV programs, movies, and commercials in TV and radio stations as well as film DVD's sold with newspapers. What can pose a problem in their endeavors is the blurry status that a lector has in Polish law. The Polish lectors will have to negotiate with the Ministry of Culture which is reluctant to help.

    "The copyright regulations are not straightfoward when it comes to the situtation of a lector. The law on royalties is dependant on wheter the lector had brought the aritistic contribution to the project. While the royalties matter is clear when it comes to dubbing, the contribution of a lector seems to lack the artistic character in principal, and therefore does not deserve the royalties. However, in special situations this rule can be modified," Iwona Radziszewska, the Culture representative said.