The Komárno branch of the state-sponsored cultural organisation Matica Slovenská has been fined €975 by the SOZA copyright protection organisation for not announcing a local charity ball that it held in February, the Sme daily reported.
One of the organisers of the ball, Jozef Černek, said that he did not realise that he had to report the event to SOZA, explaining that it was only a charity event and that the money raised was for a local theatrical group. He explained that only the performers' own songs and music were played.
However, the chair of SOZA, Vladimír Repčík, said that the ball was also attended by a band, Vegett, and a folklore ensemble, Dunaj, and that he considers the explanation to have been fabricated.
“There was no notice about the performance of a theatrical group,” Repčík said, as quoted by Sme, adding that the ball was “a normal cultural event using protected music repertoire”, which was not announced to SOZA in advance. Repčík added that the organiser must therefore pay the fee as a reward to the authors of the works performed.
Černek insisted that the case was only a misunderstanding since the theatrical performers and the members of the band that hold the musical rights were the same people, Sme wrote.
SOZA was at the centre of a controversy in June this year when it sought to impose fines for rights infringements on two villages in central Slovakia for performing traditional folk songs at events for children. The fines were later waived.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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