National Assembly imposes new rules asking the press to indicate its actual owners
October 21, 2010
Parliament decided publishers of periodicals and newspapers in the country to provide information regarding their real owner. The requirement was introduced by amendments, passed at second reading, to the Mandatory Deposit of Copies of Printed and Other Works Act.The information about the owner of the printed media should be published in its first issue of each calendar year and a copy submitted to the Ministry of Culture within five days. The fine envisioned for publishers failing to provide the above information is fixed at 1000-2000 levs for the first offence and to 3000 to 5000 levs for the second. The income from the pecuniary penalties will go to the municipal budgets. The Ministry of Culture shall publish on its website the owners’ names within ten days after obtaining the information. When the owner or some of the owners are legal entities, information should be provided about the names of the natural persons owners of the entity. Publishers and distributors of magazines and newspapers will bear the responsibility for making available the information about their owners. The control is assigned to the mayors of municipalities. The purpose of the amendments is to ensure transparency of the ownership of printed media and to protect the fundamental rights of citizens, explain in their motives the movers of the bill.