Film, video and photography
The Act on Cinematography was passed in July 1987. Since then, work has been carried out to develop new market principles, financing models and regulations as amendments to the Act. These amendments are pending.
In its current status, the Act provides for state support to the film industry and its main premise is to ensure the endowment of film production and promotion, as well as popularisation of film culture. In order to achieve these goals, the Act established the Polish Film Institute which is responsible for the fulfilment of Polish cultural policy in the film sector.
The Act determines that the Institute’s income is to come from: budgetary subsidies, income from exploitation of films where the Institute is the owner of copyright and donations. In addition, the Act assures the Institute profits from a long list of public and private entities’ income in the amount of 1.5% of their particular income sources: from cinema owners’ income received from film and commercial projections, from film distributors’ income received from the sale and rental of films, from television broadcasters’ income from commercials, from operators of digital platforms’ income from programme fees, from cable television operators’ income from access fees for television programmes, and from the public broadcaster from its annual income.
The media sector in Poland is mainly based on two legal Acts: the Press Law of 26th January 1984 and Broadcasting Act of 29th December 1992, which came into force on March 1, 1993.
The major part of the Press Law concerns both the printed press and the audiovisual media sectors. It contains general provisions concerning freedom of expression, access to information, media rights and duties, and the system of the right to reply. It also refers in particular to the legal preconditions to start, register and conduct publishing activity in the printed media market. Since 1989, it has been changed several times, although the regulation of key matters remained untouched.
The Broadcasting Act was amended during the last ten years, mainly due to the fulfilment of Poland’s international obligations (Poland has ratified the European Convention on Transfrontier Television of the Council of Europe and is implementing the EU Directive “Television without Frontiers” according to its EU accession obligations).
Programme quotas, which were finally regulated in a detailed manner in line with EU standards, are outlined in the Broadcasting Act of 29 December 1992. According to the final consolidated version of the Act, with amendments, broadcasters of television programmes are obliged to reserve at least 30% of their quarterly transmission time to programmes originally produced in the Polish language.
On 6 August 2010, the new Broadcasting Act was passed (OJ 2010, No. 152, item. 1023). It changes the rules of selection of public media authorities. The supervisory boards of the Polish Television and Polish Radio comprise seven people each. Most of the boards’ members (ten people) are appointed by open competition. The candidates are proposed by universities and academies. In each of the boards there are also two representatives of ministers: one of the Minister of Finance and one of the Minister of Culture. The members of the supervisory board can be recalled by the National Broadcasting Council (NBC) or the relevant Minister. The boards of public broadcasters are appointed by the NBC at the request of the supervisory board.
In the amendment to the Broadcasting Act of 2018, the definition of the mission of public media was clarified by supplementing the catalog of tasks to implement. The manner of implementation of the public mission and the detailed scope of obligations arising from this mission, together with an indication of the method of financing, will be specified in the obligation card, established by way of an agreement concluded between the public radio and television unit and the President of the National Council of Radio and Television.