Radio Skonto in lawsuit

  • 2000-04-20
  • By Jorgen Johansson
RIGA - The Riga Regional Court ruled in favor of the Latvian Copyright Agency on April 5, allowing LCA to collect 24,000 lats ($40,700) from Radio Skonto and prohibited the station from broadcasting music by authors and composers represented by the agency.

"They haven't paid since they started, and they are not the only one who is doing like this," said Anita Sosnovska, head of the Latvian Copyright Agency.

This is the first time in the Latvian court practice a radio station has been prohibited to play music due to copyright violations, however, Radio Skonto will continue broadcasting until the court ruling takes legal effect.

"I would say I don't understand such kind of a claim. I won't argue about the compensation. Radio Skonto is using their music and authors must be paid," said Radio Skonto's attorney, Janis Rozenfelds. Ainars Mielavs, the lead singer in the Latvian band Jauns Meness (New Moon) said they, the Latvian Copyright Agency, should have sued Radio Skonto earlier.

"Radio Skonto never paid copyright money according to what I have heard," Mielavs said.

"That is true because it was never agreed between Radio Skonto and the Latvian Copyright Agency on how much Radio Skonto radio has to pay and how are they supposed to pay if they don't even know how much?" Janis Rozenfelds said.

The Riga Regional Court has received claims against other radio stations: Bizness & Baltija, Mix FM and Easy FM for not paying the copyright agency.