An open letter to the authorities of the Republic of Poland and the leaders of political groups

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We are addressing the following letter to you in connection with the proposed new additional encumbrance, imposed on the media operating on the Polish market, falsely referred to as a “contribution” and introduced under the pretense of support linked to COVID-19.

This is simply an extortion negatively impacting the Polish viewer, listener, reader and Internet user, as well as the Polish production, culture, entertainment, sports and the Polish media.

Implementing it would mean:

1. weakening and even closing down some of the media entities operating in Poland, which would limit the possibility for the society to choose the content of their interest.

2. limiting the ability of the media to finance qualitative and locally adequate content. Their production currently secures livelihood for hundreds of thousands of employees and their families and provides access to information, entertainment and sporting events for the majority of Polish citizens, mostly free of charge,

3. deepening the unequal treatment of entities operating on the Polish media market: while the national media each year obtain PLN 2 billion from the tax payers, the private media are charged with an additional extortion in the amount of PLN 1 billion,

4. in practice – favoritism towards companies which do not invest in creating local Polish content, at the expense of entities investing in this market the most. According to estimations, the companies referred to by the government as “global digital giants” will pay only ca. PLN 50 – 100 million as part of the abovementioned extortion, as opposed to PLN 800 million which other locally active media will be charged with.

Asymmetrical and selective charging of entities is also outrageous. Additionally, an attempt to change the terms of a broadcasting license within its duration is unacceptable in a country governed by the rule of law.

Throughout the many years we have been operating in Poland, we have not been avoiding our duties and social responsibility. Each year, we pay increasing amounts of taxes, dues, and contributions (CIT, VAT, broadcasting charges, the organizations managing copyrights, licenses, frequencies, booking decisions, the VOD charge, etc.). Our charity organization supports the weakest groups within our society. We also support Polish citizens, as well as the Polish government, in the fight against the epidemic, both by providing information, as well as by contributing means worth hundreds of millions of Polish zloty.

Therefore, we strongly object to using the epidemic as an excuse to implement yet another new and particularly harsh charge on the media – a permanent charge, which will remain in force even after the COVID-19 pandemic has ended.

Signatories:

Agencja Wydawnicza AGARD Ryszard Pajura

Agora S.A.

AMS S.A.

ASTA-NET S.A.

Bonnier Business

Burda Media Polska

Canal+

Dziennik Trybuna

Dziennik Wschodni

Edipresse Polska

Eleven Sports Network sp. z o.o.

Euractiv.pl

Fundacja Reporterów

Gazeta Radomszczańska

Gazeta Żoliborza  

Green Content Sp. z o.o.

Gremi Media S.A.

Grupa Medialna WTK

Grupa Eurozet

Grupa Interia.pl sp. z. o.o.

Grupa Medialna WTK

Grupa Radiowa Agory Sp. z o.o.

Grupa RMF

Grupa PTWP

Grupa Wirtualna Polska  

Grupa ZPR

Helios S.A.

Infor Biznes

Inpress sp. z.o.o.

Kino Polska TV S.A.

Lemon Records sp. z o.o.

Marshal Academy

Medycyna Praktyczna

Music TV sp. z o.o.

Muzo.fm sp. z o.o.

naTemat.pl

NOWa Gazeta Trzebnicka

OKO.press

Polityka 

Polska Press Grupa

Prasa Beskidzka

Ringier Axel Springer Polska

STAVKA Sp. z o.o.

Superstacja sp. z o.o.

Telewizja Polsat sp. z o.o.

Telewizja Puls Sp. z o.o.

Telewizja Regionalna TVT

TIME S.A.

TV ASTA

TV Spektrum sp. z o.o.

TVN S.A.

Tygodnik Powiatu Wołowskiego Kurier Gmin

Tygodnik Powszechny

Tygodnik Regionalny 7 dni Częstochowa

Westa Druk

Wydawnictwo Bauer

Wydawnictwo Dominika Księskiego Wulkan

Wydawnictwo Magraf 

Wydawnictwo Nowiny

Zakopiańskie Towarzystwo Gospodarcze - Tygodnik Podhalański

Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Leszek Szymański/PAP