Royalty Protocol between TIMEF and MUYA-BIR
An important problem of local media is royalty fees that result in lawsuits, fines and even the imprisonment of the media representatives. TIMEF pioneered meetings between local media and professional societies representing music producers such as MUYA-BIR, MUYAP, MESAM, MSG, and MUYOR-BIR. The main motivation of the meetings was to decrease the royalty determined unilaterally by these organizations to reasonable and payable levels. As a result of the negotiations, TIMEF signed a protocol with MUYA-BIR. TIMEF continues its efforts to reach an agreement with the remaining four organizations that cannot reach an agreement with TIMEF because ofthe conflictsamong each other.
The Overall View Based on Activities
Local Media Report
The results of the domestic and international media activities of TIMEF indicate that the media sector has urgent problems that cannot be addressed without the support of all related stakeholders.
TIMEF has prepared a document titled “Local Media Report” on the critical challenges of local media that needs to be dealt urgently. In addition to the findings from its activities, TIMEF also received feedbacks through face to face or online meetings with local media involving press, radio and TV stations, news sites, professional chambers, Turkey Journalists Confederation, and other media associations and organizations operating in the sector.
“The Local Media Report” consisting nine articles have been presented to the executive branch, political parties, and concerning people and organizations. The summary of the nine articles of the presented report are as follows:
- Local and Regional TV stationsshould access to satellite broadcasting with low fees and necessary support. To do so, outlets with temporary (terrestrial) broadcast permission and RTUK registration for local transmission should receive satellite broadcast licence free of charge or at very low cost.
- Besides the use of satellite technology, local terrestrial broadcasting should be activated in new formats through new technologies to keep up with the requirements of Media localness and subsidiarity.
- To improve democracy and human rights, obstacles to local media mustbe removed in all fields of operation. İndividual broadcasting/digital individual broadcasting should be supported and developed.
- Local media experience serious challenges inhibiting local broadcasting because of high royalty. The owners of local media are sued by professional societies. Whenthe unilaterally determined royalties cannot be paid, owners faceproperty seizures and even imprisonment.
- RTUK gives fines well beyond the financial capital of local media outlets. When giving fines, RTUK should consider operating income and punish mediabased on the program under investigation. Moreover, RTUK should not be an authority constantlygiving fines. Instead, it should be a regulatory and supervisory agency and forgive all overdue finesfor once as well.
Finally, RTUK should apply an amnesty program for organizations whose broadcasting has been ceased since they cannot pay frequency/channel allocation fees, or RTUK should at least not collect these fees during the suspended operations.
- Anatolia Media should benefit from financial incentives and arrangements. Besides state supports, professional organizations should develop income earning opportunities for TV and radio stations.
- A fee must be paid for public service adds aired by TVs and radios.
- Anatolia media should be provided special discounts and various protective supports to increase the employment at media sector.
- A news media society at the national level should be established in Turkey.