LAW OF UKRAINE
ON TELEVISION AND RADIO BROADCASTING
Enacted under Resolution #3760-12 of the Supreme Council of Ukraine, of 12.21.93, VVR, 1994, #10, p. 44)
Changed and amended according to Laws of Ukraine
#75/95-VR, of February 28, 1995
#198/95 of June 2, 1995
#70/97 of February 14, 1997
#595/97 of October 22, 1997
#196/98 of March 5, 1998
#193-XIV of October 20, 1998
#998-XIV of July 16, 1999
#1642-III ( 1642-14 ) of April 06, 2000
#1709-III ( 1709-14 ) of May 11, 2000)
(In the text of the Law, the words "The State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine" in all cases shall be replaced with the words "the specifically authorised central executive agency for television and broadcasting" in appropriate cases according to the Law #1642-III of April 06, 2000)
This Law, pursuant to the Law of Ukraine On Information, regulates the activities of television and radio organizations in Ukraine’s territory, defining the legal, economic, social, and organizational terms of their operation, aimed at implementing the freedom of speech, and citizens’ right to receive complete, authentic, and speedy information, and to openly and freely discuss social issues.
Chapter I. General Provisions
Article 1. Terminology
The following terms shall be used [and interpreted] in the context of this Law [as stated below]:
- Common TV and radio broadcasting shall be understood as an extra budget non-profit national, regional or local TV and radio broadcasting system founded by legal and/ or natural persons;
(Paragraph 4 added to Article 1 according to Law of Ukraine #595/97 of October 22, 1997)
- National channel shall be understood as a [TV/radio] channel conveying transmissions to more than one half Ukraine's administrative regions;
- [Broadcasts] channel shall be understood as a sum total of technical means and assigned frequencies conveying televisions and radio programs to a territory defined by their technical parameters;
- Broadcasts (television and radio broadcasts) shall be understood as transmission of audio or visual information using electromagnetic waves beamed by transmitting devices and received by any number of TV- and radio-sets;
- National Television Company, National Radio Company shall be understood as government-run TV and radio companies using national channels, being accountable to the Supreme Council and the President of Ukraine;
- Live transmission shall be understood as direct transmission of television and radio broadcasts, without previous recording and/or editing;
- Radio broadcasts shall be understood as production and transmission of audio programs;
- Public TV and radio broadcasts shall be understood as a non-profit single national TV and radio broadcasting system, built on a single program concept, set up and acting in line with the Law of Ukraine “On Public Television and Radio Broadcasting System”;
(Paragraph 17 in the wording of Law of Ukraine #595/97 of October 22, 1997)
- TV/radio company (editorial office, agency, association, company, radio station, etc.) shall be understood as a duly registered legal entity with the right to produce and transmit TV and radio programs;
- TV/radio program shall be understood as a sum total of live or recorded TV/radio broadcasts;
Article 2. Basic Principles of Operation of TV/Radio Companies
TV/radio companies shall have no right to disclose in their programs any information classified as state secrets or otherwise confidential, being protected by law, call for violent changes in, or overthrow of, the existing political and social order, violations of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, propagandize war, violence, and cruelty, instigate race, national or religious animosity, and disseminate pornography or other information undermining social morals or instigating infringements of the law and damaging man’s honor and dignity.
Article 3. Sphere of Application
This Law shall extend to relations among subjects in the sphere of television and radio broadcasts, irrespective of the form of ownership, goals or statutory activities of TV/radio companies, and of the manner in which TV/radio information is disseminated, provided their programs are geared to be received by users en masse.
This Law shall not extend to the creation and operation of special closed TV/radio circuits (production, technological, educational, office, etc.), radio hams, radio sport, or other types of individual-call communication, as well as networks conveying special data which is not meant for large audiences; and nor shall this law apply to video and audio productions rented by and played at various institutions.
Article 8. Protection of Interests of National Television and Radio Productions
In order to protect the interests of national television and radio productions, and to direct investments to develop national television and radio networks, at least 50% of the output (programs, films) of each TV/radio company shall originate from this organization or shall be made by other legal entities operating in Ukraine.
Article 9. Language Used on Air
TV/radio companies shall broadcast in the national [official] language.
Programs beamed on certain regions may be in the language of the numerically prevalent local ethnic minority.
Programs beamed on foreign territories shall be in Ukrainian and the relevant foreign language.
Article 10. Laws on Television and Radio Broadcasts
Ukraine’s legislation on television and radio broadcasts consists of the Law of Ukraine On Information, this Law, and other legislative acts issued thereunder.
Article 11. The Structure of National Television and Radio Broadcasts in Ukraine.
The structure of national television and radio broadcasts in Ukraine consists of government-run, non-governmental (private) and Public TV/radio companies found-ed by legal and/or natural persons in keeping with the laws currently in effect in Ukraine and of the Public TV and radio broadcasts system.
(Article 11 in the wording of Laws of Ukraine #198/95 of June 2, 1995, #595/97 of October 22, 1997)
Article 12. Government-Run TV/Radio Companies of Ukraine
Ukraine’s government-run television and radio companies together with the Public TV and radio broadcasting system make a basis of the national TV and radio broadcasting of Ukraine. They are sustained by the State Budget and beaming programs throughout Ukraine’s territory or on separate regions, as well as abroad.
(Paragraph 1, Article 12 in the wording of Law of Ukraine #595/97 of October 22, 1997)
The specifically authorised central executive agency for television and broadcasting shall, within the limits established by Article 7 hereinbefore, have the priority right to use national channels supported by technical facilities financed by the budget or by state-owned enterprises.
Government-run TV/radio companies with regard to the rights vested in them under the license shall have the priority right to use the national television and radio networks.
Article 13. The Right to Set up TV/Radio Companies
The right to set up TV/radio companies shall be vested in legally capable citizens of Ukraine, the Supreme Council of Ukraine, the President of Ukraine, and other legal entities of Ukraine.
The Supreme Council and the President of Ukraine shall jointly decide on the setting up of the National Television Company of Ukraine. The National Television and the National Radio Company of Ukraine shall be financed under a separate item of the State Budget of Ukraine.
Public television and radio companies shall be allocated a separate national radio and television channel. The Supreme Council of Ukraine shall decide on the setting up of Public TV/radio companies. Public TV/radio companies shall have priority in obtaining a lisense to use national TV and radio channels. The status of Public TV/radio companies shall be defined by a separate law.
(Paragraph 3, Article 13 in the wording of Law of Ukraine #595/97 of October 22, 1997)
Foreign legal and natural persons, and stateless persons shall be forbidden to set up TV/radio companies in Ukraine. TV/radio companies with foreign investments or having more than 30% foreign investments in their authorized capital stocks shall not be established, and nor shall they be allowed to operate in Ukraine.
Investments shall be made in Ukraine's TV/radio companies under the National Council's control and with its knowledge ands consent.
Foreign TV/radio companies shall be allowed to use Ukraine's channels as per intergovernmental or international agreements.
Article 14. Licensing of Channels
In order to receive a license allowing use of a channel, a TV/radio company, its founder or proxy shall submit an application to the National Council.
This application shall contain the following data:
e) Language(s) to be used on air;
Article 37. Responsibilities of TV/Radio Companies
A TV/radio company shall be under the obligation to:
Leonid Kravchuk, President of Ukraine
City of Kyiv, December 21, 1993
Source: Unofficial translation