Poland Amends Media Bill

The Polish government has eased VOD and promotional content regulations.


MOSCOW -- Amid protests from private broadcasters and Internet users, the Polish government eased VOD and promotional content regulations in a new media bill, Film New Europe reported. The vote passed the senate on March 18, 2011.

The media bill had required all online VOD providers to register audio and video content that would subsequently be posted online. Internet providers and users protested that the regulation could be used as censorship.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said the changes were a restriction for investors and the National Broadcasting Chamber issued a statement saying the change might endanger full harmonization with European Union directives.

The Polish Government had recently passed an amendment to Poland's media law, which is supposed to bring it in line with EU standards.

The controversy over the bill echoes the furor over Hungary's new media law, which allegedly makes it harder for all media, including online media, to legally criticize the government.

Several Hungarian and international press freedom organizations expressed their concerns regarding the changes.

The EU is pressuring Hungary to revise the law, which came into force on Jan. 1, the same day that Hungary assumed the rotating EU Presidency.