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Bulgaria/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.7 Mass media

The Radio and Television Act sets the following programming quotas: at least 50% of the total annual programme time for European and Bulgarian programming, excluding newscasts, sports shows, game shows on radio and TV, commercials and the radio and TV market, when that is practically possible. Bulgarian National Television must allocate at least 10% of the National Budget subsidies and Radio and Television Fund subsidies for the production of Bulgarian TV films.

Blank tape levies are regulated by Article 26 of the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act. According to Article 26 (1), "any author of a work recorded on audio- or video-recording media, any performer [...], as well as any producer of any such phonogram's, shall have the right to a compensatory royalty..." Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 identify the payers, recipients and rates of royalties due under Paragraph 1.

In 2007 the National Assembly adopted an Electronic Communications Act, which regulates the field related to communications via electronic means and the interrelations among the Communications Regulation Commission (CRC) and the Council of Electronic Media (CEM) in the area of digital radio broadcasting, as well as regulates the licensing the use of determinate individually limited resource.

In 2008, a series of actions were undertaken in regard to the harmonisation of the Directive 2007/67/EC - Audiovisual and Media Services Directive (AVMSD), including an administrative capacity building project in cooperation with the German authorities (see  chapter 4.2.3). A large public consultation process was launched to contribute to the amendment of existing legislation.

At the end of 2009, the Act to Amend the Radio and Television Act was adopted. This Act contributed to the development of the legislative system and sets the following aims:

Promotion and adoption of the principles and norms of Directive 2007/65/ЕО (Audiovisual Media Services Directive) of the European Parliament and of the Council dated 11 December 2007 for Amendment of Directive 89/552/ЕIO.

The rights for broadcasting aim to establish a balance between the rights of TV providers to hold the exclusive rights on TV broadcasting of events of considerable public interest and encouragement of pluralism by means of a variety of productions and schedules in the programme scheme of the overall EU.

Regarding the legislative principal framework, the principle regarding the country of origin has been inaugurated in the Radio and Television Act and acts in relevance to the accomplishment of transmitting linear TV broadcasts.

Quotas - for productions of European origin, whenever possible, the audiovisual media services on demand should stimulate the production and the distribution of European works, thus contributing to the improvement of cultural diversity.

Commercial messages - The rules stipulating the commercial messages and regarding the commercial interactions have been carefully stated.

With the transition and final clauses of this Act, the Public Broadcasting Law has been repealed.

Chapter published: 20-01-2011

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