Poland Alters Media Bill

By Katarzyna Grynienko

    WARSAW: After protests from private broadcasters and internet users the Polish government changed the VOD and promotion content regulations in the new media bill to be less restrictive.The vote passed the senate on 18 March 2011.

    Initially, the new media bill required all providers of online VOD content and other on demand content to register audio and video productions that will be available on the web later. Providers and Internet users protested that the regulation was a form of censorship on the web. Additionally, the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said the changes were a restriction for investors and Internet clients. The National Broadasting Chamber (KRRiT, www.krrit.gov.pl) issued a statement saying the change might endanger full introduction of the EU directive into the Polish law, which is already over one year late.

    Polish senators also introduced an amendement to the regulations on promotional content by broadcasters in the form of trailers, program schedules and competition information. The amendement allows this content in the previously defined time quantity but allows broadcast only between programs and not as an interruption during broadcasts. The change was a result of strong protests from private broadcasters TVN, Polsat and TV Puls, who issued statements claiming the new bill restricts their possibility to interact with viewers and hurts their buisness.