Older TV programs could be removed from NRK due to payment disagreements

Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB

Disagreements over payment to freelancers could lead to large parts of the NRK archive going black from the New Year, organizations warned during a call.

This autumn, Norwegian network NRK and rights organization Norwaco started to negotiate over what is reasonable payment for older TV programs to be available on streaming services NRK TV and NRK Radio.

So far, the negotiations have not progressed according to Norwaco.

A New Year’s Eve deadline

The payment does not apply to NRK employees, but temporarily hired freelancers and artists who have contributed to the productions.

If the parties cannot reach an agreement, all programs from before 1997 will have to be removed from the NRK archive by midnight on New Year’s Eve.

There will also be a ban on publishing newer programs broadcasted between 1997 and 2015 digitally.

Limited use arrangement reached for 2020

Until 2019, NRK’s annual remuneration to Norwaco was NOK 19 million.

In 2020, the parties did not reach a new arrangement but agreed on a temporary solution in which NRK paid NOK 9 million for limited use of older content.

“When NRK wants to use the programs in a different way and to a completely different extent, it is reasonable that those who have contributed get paid for the new use,” said Elisabeth Sjaastad, leader of the Norwegian Film Association and representative in Norwaco.

Content used by less than 1%

The audience’s total use of content from before 1997 in NRK TV is less than 1%, said the company’s director of strategy and media Øyvind Lund.

“NRK has a strong desire to make more of our older programs available to the public. At the same time, NRK must use the money we receive from the community, in a way that will benefit as many people as possible,” Lund told NTB.

“Financial compensation to Norwaco must be related to how the public uses the content and to other agreements,” he continued, adding that NRK wants to find a solution with Norwaco.

“Our ambition will always be to make as much of our archive available as possible,” Lund noted.

31 organizations going up against NRK

Thirty-one organizations have signed an appeal calling for what they believe will be adequate pay from NRK for the older content.

Tono, the Writers’ Guild of Norway (Norske Dramatikeres Forbund), the Directors’ Guild of Norway (Norske Filmregissører), Creo, the Norwegian Film Makers Association (Norsk Filmforbund), and the Norwegian Actors’ Equity Association (Norsk Skuespillerforbund) are among them.

Source: ©️ NTB Scanpix / #NorwayTodayTravel

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