BEIRUT: The head of the state-owned Tele Liban vowed legal action Wednesday against any party that illegally aired the station’s productions without obtaining permission.
Talal Makdessi, who was appointed in July as the director-general of the board that manages the public television station, issued a warning against airing the channel’s productions and materials to local and regional television stations as well as to Lebanese and foreign production companies, websites and radio stations.
“Several media outlets have been airing and showing excerpts, footage, recordings, programs or series that have been produced by Tele Liban and are therefore part of its archives, rights and assets, and the public station has the sole right in its ownership and distribution to other media outlets,” he said in a statement.
Tele Liban said that if any media outlet, regardless of the party who owned it, didn’t abide by its warning then it would be subject to prosecution and all measures necessary to protect the station’s intellectual property.
Makdessi also asked institutions, websites and stations that acquired the right to air some of Tele Liban productions to stop airing them once their agreements expired.
At the time of his appointment in July, Makdessi said his top priorities were to build the station as a credible source of news and to preserve its archives. Makdessi said that “arrangements” had been made with respect to the station’s archives, ones he found to be “questionable,” and that he would be looking into the sales, licensing and loss of large quantities of the archive.
Makdessi has vowed to revitalize the ailing station, which was overtaken years ago by private satellite channels, but has expressed frustration publicly with the lack of funds and support from the government. Two months ago, a strike by Tele Liban employees was narrowly avoided following months of salary delays.