RIGA - Riga Vidzeme District Court ruled on June 13 that the Culture Ministry would be awarded property rights to 973 films shot at the Riga Film Studio from 1964 to May 4, 1990, provided that legal interests of the creators of these films are observed, reports LETA. The court also concluded that the Culture Ministry has the right to publish, replicate and distribute these films, as well as claim royalties if the films were used by other persons or entities.
The court banned Riga Film Studio from publishing, replicating and distributing the films, and ordered to pay the Culture Ministry compensation of 29,517 lats (42,100 euros).
Riga Film Studio CEO Armands Liberts said that the court ruling was completely unfounded and would be appealed. He added, however, that all the sides involved in the dispute would have to reach a settlement somehow, because the litigation would do no good to any of them. Liberts explained that Riga Film Studio was doing active work to define interests of all the parties involved in the dispute. For instance, the film studio is prepared to grant the state permission to use all the Soviet-period films for free.