Chairman of National TV and Radio Council of Azerbaijan Will not Allow Broadcasting on Internet without Permit (video)

Extract from Trend interview with the Chairman of the National TV and Radio Council of Azerbaijan, Nushiravan Maharramly

- Over the recent months the issue of broadcasting audio-visual information via the internet became real. A special meeting is planned to be held over this issue in the near future. What is the agenda of the meeting?

- It is a very serious, disputable and complicated issue. I have repeatedly said that there are several means of broadcasting such as cable, satellite and the internet. At present our TV channels are also transmitted via the internet. But private videos are not considered mass media information.

Without a license, we will not allow internet broadcasting of the telecasts from TV channels who presents their material within 24 hours.

If it is a TV channel or radio station, its programs should be transmitted according to the rules of broadcasting. If it is not a TV channel, but video material, we will not allow it.

- Does anybody wish to transmit telecasts via the internet?

- Sometimes it happens. Especially during elections, several political parties try to.

In the near future, we want to hold a big meeting together with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies to discuss this issue. I had a meeting with the OSCE's Special Representative for Freedom of Speech, Mikolash Harashty, on this issue. He said to me that no control should exist in this sphere. However, I proved on the basis of their practices that this area is controlled in any case. A regulating body should exist.

On one hand, this issue is of concern for the community because people, especially children, are under the influence of the internet. On the other hand, if we do not control it, big problems will appear. Interest is a technical progress for the people. At the same time, it is an arm aimed against us.

- Is it possible to establish a new organization?

- If it belongs to the TV and radio, then we already have a regulating organization. But it deals with any regulation on the internet; naturally we support the establishment of a new organization. It does not mean control of someone's correspondences. It means broadcasting of obscene and documentary films and interference in private life. It needs to define if the owner of any website, who increases the number of hits up to 600, is source of media or not.

I do not support censorship or limitations which are supported in several countries. Simply we need to create favourable conditions for the normal use of the internet.

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