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Specialist Guide to the
Global Leaders in Media Law Practice
The significance of broadcast trends in Albania is surpassed by the government’s controversial online media law proposal to heighten state regulation.
Prime Minister Edi Rama proposed two draft laws that introduce fines up to ALL1 million (EUR8,000) and make the registration of online media compulsory. The government expects changes to counter fake news and limit, if not eradicate, content that “damages public morale” and “publications that can incite penal offences”.
The proposed changes were presented at a public hearing in December 2018 in Tirana. They were notably opposed by four media organisations, Press and Media Freedom, the European Federation of Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and PEN International.
Critics say the proposed changes are “undemocratic” and empower the government to regulate online media outlets. The four organisations addressed the Prime Minister and Justice Minister Etilda Gjonaj in a letter, calling on them to retract the proposed bills.
In a joint statement, they wrote: “If the ruling Socialist parliamentary majority enacts these proposals, our hybrid democracy will inevitably slither toward an authoritarian regime. In democratic countries, the aim of the law is to
protect citizens from the government and not to protect government from the citizens.”
In other signification developments over the past year, six commercial television stations are calling on the government for additional funding to boost investigative journalist and counter fake news.
In June 2018, Balkan Insight reported that broadcasters want the law changed to allow them to access a share of the tax that is used to fund public broadcaster RTSH. Commercial broadcasters want 50 per cent of the EUR9.2 million that is allocated to RTSH, which is also allowed to broadcast commercials that generate.
The topic of media independence and pluralism continues to hold its position in media industry-related debates.
In March 2018, Reporters Without Boarders, stated in an Albania news report: ‘Although the audio-visual market is regulated by law, most media experts perceive its regulatory body, the Audio-visual Media Authority, as being under the direct or indirect influence of political and corporate actors.’
Boga & Associates’ media work stems from its communications, entertainment and IP specialisation, which earns the firm its leading position. With an established national position, the full-service practice expanded its reach with an office in Kosovo and works closely with clients in both regions. Renata Leka is the firm’s key contact of media-related work, which includes advice on copyright, advertising and unfair competition.
Hoxha, Memi & Hoxha is known for its advice on regulatory issues, data protection, internet, anti-piracy and privacy. The firm is highly regarded for its work with broadcasters and maintains strong links with long-standing clients. Lawyers regularly advise Eurolloto, Telesport Television and Telesport Newspaper and have worked with AGON TV on the acquisition of rights from several international copyright agents on its behalf.
Tonucci & Partners has a distinct practice dedicated to sports and gaming. The firm runs separate divisions for media, IP and data protection. As part of their work practitioners provided legal and regulatory advice to the European Commission and supervised the telecommunications, multimedia and audio-visual legislative reform in countries including Poland, Slovenia and the Slovak Republic.
Media and entertainment are among the strongest practice areas of full-service firm Kalo & Associates. Also known for its IP services, the firm provides regulatory and transactional advice. Practitioners work with leading telecommunications operators, satellite and software companies among others with Anisa Rrumbullaku at the forefront of sector-related activity.
Media clients describe Wolf Theiss as a practice “compounded of professional dynamic lawyers who are always available”. The firm works with clients from the broadcasting industry on multiple complex cases and is highlighted for “several specialties ranging from media law and IP law and commercial law to litigation cases”. Sokol Nako manages the practice and is recognised by clients as “an expert in media law”.
Drakopoulos Law Firm is known for its combined media and intellectual property focus, with areas of expertise including entertainment and publishing law. The team advises on corporation transactions, sector-related disputes and unfair competition. Lawyers also handle advertising complaints in administrative and civil courts.
Loloci & Associates is widely recognised for its litigation expertise in the area of intellectual property, which drives its media activity. The firm is notably active in representing clients before the courts in matters including unfair competition, piracy and other related cases.
Ranking and editorials
Hoxha, Memi & Hoxha
Tonucci & Partners
Gjika & Associates
Kalo & Associates
K&H Law Firm
Drakopoulos Law Firm
Haxhia & Hajdari Attorneys at Law
Loloci & Associates
RANKING AND EDITORIALS