Free-TV operators concerned over copyright implications of must-carry rule
BANGKOK: -- While the TV broadcasting industry's opinion on the draft must-carry rule is generally positive, free-TV operators expressed concern yesterday that it might lead to their being faced with copyright-violation problems.
Their concern was aired at a public hearing on the must-carry draft at Bangkok's Century Park Hotel, organised by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC).
Speaking as the representative of the six free-TV channels, Surin Krittayaphonphun, executive vice president at BEC, suggested that the draft should specify that passed-through programmes should comprise the same content as that which is aired in real time.
Transmission should not be allowed to result in copyright violation, while cable- and satellite-TV operators passing through such content should not be permitted to use it for commercial purposes, he said.
The country's current free-TV channels are BEC's ThaiTV3, the Army's TV5, BBTV's Channel 7, MCOT's Modernine TV, NBT and Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS).
Surin added that the six broadcasters were concerned about their existing terrestrial broadcasting rights, and would consider it to be a copyright violation if such copyrighted content were to be transmitted via other media channels such as cable and satellite TV.
To prevent such a problem, Surin said his company would revise its existing copyright contracts for broadcasting imported TV series and shows.
Meanwhile, Wichit Auraree-vorakul, executive adviser of the Thailand Cable TV Association, said the NBTC should allow free-TV operators to extend their broadcasting service from terrestrial to cable and satellite services, if necessary.
In response to the copyright concern expressed by free-TV operators, Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the NBTC's broadcasting committee, insisted that the must-carry rule would not violate copyright restrictions as it had already been jointly acknowledged and accepted that cable-and satellite-TV receivers were considered to be conventional TV antennas.
He said that under the must-carry rule, the NBTC was aiming to implement universal service obligation in the broadcasting industry, as transmission frequencies for radio or television broadcasting and telecommunication are considered national resources for the public interest.
Therefore, free-to-air TV operators must be responsible for providing public broadcasting services across the country on any platform, he said.
Moreover, those companies that hold media rights must be aware of this regulation before striking any deals with free-TV operators, he added.
The must-carry rules are expected to be imposed on both existing analog terrestrial television channels and coming digital services.
Once the NBTC issues licences for digital TV broadcasting, network providers must carry public broadcasting services, such as NBT and ThaiPBS. However, network providers will be able to select commercial channels voluntarily.
After yesterday's public hearing, the revised must-carry draft will be submitted for NBTC approval tomorrow, before the regulation is announced in the Royal Gazette.
-- The Nation 2012-07-17
Free-TV Operators Concerned Over Copyright Implications Of Must-Carry Rule: Thailand
No replies to this topic
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users