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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

VOD platforms and TV broadcasters from other EU Member States that address their services to the audience in Poland no longer remain unnoticed as targeted contributors to the fund maintained by the Polish Film Institute supporting Polish cinematography.


These two groups of media services providers will share the obligation to contribute 1.5% of their revenue to the fund with other participants of the Polish audiovisual market, such as Polish broadcasters, digital platforms and cable TV operators.


VOD platforms (providers of on-demand audiovisual services) are already obliged to contribute to the fund, effetive 01 July 2020.


The contribution of VOD platforms is calculated on their revenue earned on fees for the access to the publicly available on-demand audiovisual media services or on emission of commercial communications, whichever is greater. In the case of VOD platforms from other Member States, only revenue earned within the territory of Poland is calculated.


Low-turnover or low-audience platforms are exempt from this obligation. Low-turnover platforms are those that qualify as micro-entrepreneurs, meaning those that, at least in one year out of the past two financial years, met both following conditions: (1) employed less than 10 employees on average per year, and (2) their net turnover or the total assets of a balance sheet did not exceed the PLN equivalent of EUR2 million.


Low-audience platforms are those whose number of users of all their public on-demand audiovisual media services does not exceed 1% of broadband

internet services subscribers. In 2020, the platforms of users not exceeding 77,707 would qualify for the exemption.


The Polish government expects the contributions of VOD platforms to bring PLN15 million [approx. EUR3,350 million in 2020, and at least PLN20 million [approx. EUR4,470 million] annually for the next years.  


The bill, targeting TV broadcasters from other Member States as the payers of contributions to the fund, is still in the legislation process (as of 09 December 2020), but is expected to become a binding law in early 2021 at the latest.


The rate of 1.5% will be calculated on the revenue earned by broadcasters in Poland from advertising, teleshopping, sponsored programmes or from fees for access to the broadcasted programmes collected directly from subscribers, whichever is greater.


Micro-entrepreneurs and the broadcasters of the total audience share for all of their broadcasted programmes not exceeding 1% are exempt from the contribution obligations.


The Polish government mentions an anticipated 100 TV broadcasters from other Member States that will be subject to the contribution obligation.



Written by

Luiza Piskorek

WP Law

TIER 1

Krzysztof Czyzewski’s leadership drives media activity at Czyżewscy Kancelaria Adwokacka. The boutique firm’s sector coverage is admirable. The practice specialises in book publishing, press, entertainment, film and advertising. Lawyers have extensive experience advising on film productions, television formats, protection of journalistic confidentiality and personal data protection.  


With distinct emphasis on advertising, media and promotional law, Traple Konarski Podrecki & Partners brings together leading industry experts. One client noted: “Xawery Konarski earns a place among Poland's most highly regarded individuals. He frequently advises the Polish government on legal issues involving legislative reform.” Co-founder and media law specialist Elżbieta Traple advises multiple Polish and foreign entities operating in the industry.


WKB Wierciński, Kwieciński, Baehr is firm headquartered in Warsaw, with a branch office in Poznan. Its staff consists of over 100 experienced lawyers who specialise in all areas of business law. The firm has expertise in mergers and acquisitions (including privatisation projects), court and out-of-court restructurings of commercial entities, project financing, energy law, competition law, public procurement, and infrastructure projects, including those based on public-private partnership. The firm also specialises in real estate, environmental and investment projects, and advises its clients on a broad variety of company law issues (including corporate governance), intellectual property, media and new technology regulatory frameworks, telecommunications, competition, labour, tax and insurance law. WKB lawyers advise Polish and foreign businesses on large privatisation, acquisition and restructuring transactions. Its services are always tailored to meet the needs of each client.


TIER 2

Baker McKenzie Krzyzowski i Wspólnicy has a strong position nationally and is regularly praised by competitors. Marek Rosinski manages the Warsaw practice which focusses on copyright and technology. The firm’s multidisciplinary approach brings together a range of sector-related service areas that include commercial law, litigation and unfair competition.


Dentons’ media team advises key media players in the Polish market, including commercial broadcasters, OTT providers (present and entering the Polish market), cable and satellite operators, as well as film producers, music and game publishers. The team is headed by partner Karol Laskowski, a media and telecom expert, who remains up to date with respect to new developments on the Polish market. Małgorzata Domalewska, who joined from an in-house position at Telewizja Puls, adds substantial experience in film production and television broadcasting advice. Speaking of the firm, one client commented: "I find the performance of Dentons' office very professional. Memorandums were prepared thoroughly, even if on short notice. The evaluation of time spent on particular works was also satisfactory."


Domanski Zakrzewski Palinka assist’s clients in dealing with local intricacies impacting multi-national marketing projects involving both ATL and BTL advertising (co-marketing agreements, marketing materials’ clearance, establishing T&Cs, regulatory matters, esp. with gambling schemes, loyalty schemes and bonus sale schemes). The firm advises leading publishers on distribution systems, distribution agreements, press registration, protection of intellectual property rights, newspaper formats and disputes over personal rights. The firm’s services are also focussed on the dynamically developing video games market, particularly as regards new business models for on-line games, games of chance, free-to-play, pay per play, and digital content distribution models.


GWW is widely acknowledged to be one of Poland’s leading advisory practices. The firm acts for clients from film and broadcasting sectors and is praised by peers for its work in these fields. Lawyers include Wojciech Krupa, Wacław Knopkiewicz and Michał Sękowski who are among the firm’s media law specialists. The team advises on the film production and trading in television and marketing rights.   


TIER 3

Kopeć & Zaborowski specialises in media law and protection of personal rights, as well as civil litigation and criminal press law. KKZ ’s clients include well-known politicians, journalists, actors, celebrities, publishers, media owners, sports agencies and businessmen. KKZ works in partnership with private and public media in the following areas: pre-release material control, audio visual material at the production and post-production stages both in respect of legal matters pertaining to Press Law and copyrights issues. Maciej Zaborowski and his department are frequent guests and commentators on television, the radio, social media and in the press.


Jakubowski & Pluta and Partners’ press law focus is matched by its advertising and copyright specialisation. The team works with publishers and radio broadcasters on freedom of expression, publishing corrections and advises on the use of artistic works. The practice is under the leadership of its founders Janusz Jakubowski and Krzysztof Pluta.


As highlighted by its clients, Linklaters has “very good knowledge of law and the regulatory environment”. Clients also note the firm’s litigation experience and highlight partners for their skill and adeptness. In representative work, the team advised Bonnier Business Polska on all IP aspects of its acquisition of media company Grupa Bankier from the Dutch Naspers Group. The firm regularly handles cross-broader cases involving broadcasting, data protection and technology contracts.


Driven by a focus on sports and intellectual property, Wardyński & Partners is prime choice for sports companies. The practice covers commercial and corporate areas of work on behalf of television and radio broadcasters, operators of digital platforms, advertising agencies and producers of audio-visual recordings. The firm is renowned for its primary specialisation in copyright law.


The media law desk at WP Law spcialises in audio and audiovisual media which covers media law, copyright law and legal issues related to the operations of digital platforms and services. The team, managed by Luiza Piskorek, provides legal assistance on the production, acquisition and distribution of audiovisual and audio (musical) content. Lawyers support clients such as broadcasters of TV channels and operators of internet platforms in their operations regarding the production, acquisition and distribution of their services. The firm handles cases that require expertise in the sale of advertising space and time. The firm’s advice covers the use of technology in the media sector, such as dynamic ad insertion.


TIER 4

BWHS Wojciechowski Springer and Partners advises top TMT companies such as P4 (PLAY) and UPC on media, competition, consumer and regulatory issues. The firm represents clients in unfair competition and misleading advertising disputes. Another pillar of its activity is supporting companies operating on the publishing market, for example Dressler Dublin. Andrzej Springer is head of practice, and a notable practitioner with an extensive background. Mr Springer is praised by the clients for having a combination of business focus and effectiveness. Other team members involved in media cases include partners Mirosław Skrycki, who leads disputes concerning infringement of personal goods in media and advises telecoms clients on unfair competition issues, Katarzyna Racka who successfully represented PLAY in a dispute against TVN and Mirosława Zytkowska-Kocik who advised UPC on proceedings against Netia.


With a primarily focus on telecommunications, Chajec, Don-Siemion & Żyto’s work within the TMT sector also includes ongoing advice to one of Poland’s largest private television stations and satellite television platforms. The team has wide ranging experience including transactional, advisory and regulatory.


The TMT/ IP practice group at CMS is recognised by peers for its industry engaggment. The firm is known for its advice on user generated content, e-commerce issues and infringement on the internet. Lawyers advise on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious cases.


The media division at DLA Piper Giziński Kycia combines commercial and regulatory aspects in cases involving internet law, cloud computing, e-commerce, broadcasting, distribution contracts and licensing agreements. The firm’s global competence and cross-border expertise makes it a relevant component of the legal market and a trusted brand say peers.


TIER 5

Allen & Overy is praised by peers for its IP focus. The firm’s lawyers are singled out for expertise within IP/TMT areas, notably technology law. Lawyers are praised for being ‘business oriented’ and having a good level of  ‘theoretical background’ when dealing with industry cases.  


With a focus on new technology and intellectual property, FKA Furtek Komosa Aleksandrowicz’s sector-related work is derived from converged areas of media. Lawyers have in-depth knowledge of electronic market regulation and regularly advise on financing and distribution agreements.


The TMT group at Norton Rose Fulbright is formed of experienced lawyers who have a thorough understanding of regulatory and transactional matters. Other core areas of focus include copyright and other intellectual property-related matters.


Stolarek & Grabalski is appointed by television and radio broadcasters in cases involving corporate transactions such as mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures. The firm’s sector involvement is derived from its multidisciplinary approach that brings together various cases connected with media industry investment, start-up ventures and contractual work.


Weil, Gotshal & Manges impresses its clients repeatedly. One client commented: “Weil’s Warsaw

office is based on attorneys who bring unique insight to the complex transactional matters they handle.” The team’s expansive sector coverage is highlighted by another client who noted: “Weil advised us in the area of broadcasting law, trademarks and copyrights matters. Their media and IP practice was engaged in highly sophisticated due diligence projects, connected with IPO, high yield bond offering, M&A and others.” The team manages a range of cases including the sale of a controlling stake in one of Poland’s leading television broadcasters.

Top

TIER 1

Czyżewscy Kancelaria Adwokacka

Traple Konarski Podrecki & Partners

WKB Wierciński, Kwieciński, Baehr


TIER 2

Baker McKenzie Krzyzowski i Wspólnicy

Bird & Bird

Dentons

Domanski Zakrzewski Palinka

GWW

LSW Leśnodorski Ślusarek and Partners


TIER 3

Kochański & Partners

Kopeć & Zaborowski

Jakubowski Pluta and Partners

Linklaters

SK&S - Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak

Wardyński & Partners

WP Law


TIER 4

APLAW Artur Piechocki

BWHS Wojciechowski Springer and Partners

Chajec, Don-Siemion & Żyto

CMS

DLA Piper Giziński Kycia

Eversheds Sutherland Wierzbowski

Hasik, Rheims & Partners

Maruta Wachta


TIER 5

Allen & Overy

FKA Furtek Komosa Aleksandrowicz

Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak

Hogan Lovells

Stolarek & Grabalski  

Weil, Gotshal & Manges

Zagajewski & Skowron



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FEATURED ARTICLE BY


AGNIESZKA WIERCINSKA-KRUZEWSKA & PAULINA MASLAK-STEPNIKOWSKA

WKB WIERCINSKI, KWIECINSKI, BAEHR  

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