January 15th, 2009
Yesterday, 14 January, in the Local Economy Court #1, under the chairmanship of Judge Tahira Asadova, a preliminary hearing was held on the joint lawsuit of “Azerbaijanfilm” Film Studio and Professional Cinema Producers Guild against Public TV and Radio broadcasting. The lawyer of the Cinema Producers Guild Akbar Bagirov told this to the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety.

 “We filed a lawsuit against the Public TV because most Azerbaijani movies have been broadcast in the TV channel without the signing of any contract or the payment of honorariums to the Cinema Producers Guild,” said Bagirov. “During the preliminary hearing we, ‘Azerbaijanfilm’ Film Studio and the Professional Cinema Producers Guild, demanded that the broadcasting of those movies be banned until contracts are signed and honorariums considered for them are paid.” According to Bagirov, the plaintiff is seeking a considerable amount of money for damages from Public TV. The next hearing is now scheduled to take place on 28 January at 11:00 a.m.

Public TV and Radio Broadcasting Company Public Relations Department Head Tahir Mammadov told IRFS that Public TV has not committed any illegal action in the sphere of movie broadcasting. “Public TV never airs any film that is not licensed,” said Mammadov. “With regards to Azerbaijani films, we appealed to sign a contract with ’Azerbaijanfilm’ and Professional Cinema Producers Guild several times, however, they refused to do so.”