Click. INDUSTRIE. CNA vs. Atomic TV

Interviu. David Coolidge

Director General

Atomic TV Romania

David Coolidge s-a născut la Boston (în statul Massachussets din SUA). Deţine un Master in Business Administration în Arte şi Managementul Spectacolului la California State University. Deasemenea, este licenţiat în Istorie şi Studii Est Asiatice la Harvard University.

Înainte de a se alătura echipei de la Atomic TV, David Coolidge a fost Directorul General al companiei Talinn Cable Television din Estonia.

A mai lucrat ca Director de Dezvoltare la Baltic Development Group, ca Director Consultant la Orchestra Filarmonică din Los Angeles şi ca Director Financiar şi de Producţie la Opera Lirică din Boston, Massachussets.

David Coolidge a lucrat din 1995 în Europa de Est şi are 10 ani de experienţă în managementul spectacolului.

Răspunsul lui David Coolidge despre procesul dintre Atomic TV şi CNA este în engleză. O să revin asupra articolului într-un viitor să fac traducerea.

CZB: The problem initially was based upon the message Paraziţii was trying to get across in Alcoolul este viaţa and the fight for the rights to broadcast Sotto Intesso.

David Coolidge: As far as we know, the two videos you mentioned were never a subject of sanctions. They have never been mentioned explicitly that way or otherwise. As far as I know, the Sotto Inteso video was 100% a dispute between Romania Films who sold it and Dan Pita who says they did not have the right to sell it and I do not know what the resolution to that is. As far as I’m concerned, Romania Films has 100% rights to that, so they were correct in doing so. The courts must however decide this.

The first time, we were cited for Subcultura but by the time they made the citation, we have decided to stop showing the show because we have showed the 13 original episodes we commissioned for the first time and earlier in the summer we had decided not to commission this any further and we had also decided not to rebroadcast the show and we felt some of the videos were old material. Because of the nature of the show it had to be very immediate so when the CNA made a sommation about this, we said that this is not an issue anymore because we had stopped showing it. On the current issue, they had a lot of accusations of a lot of different things and we have disagreements with them on two basic points.

Firstly, on a procedural basis, we feel they haven’t followed the basic order in their correct procedures as described by law and secondly we feel that (let’s say) they’re violating the rights of free expression with the way they are defining wrong behavior.

I think that it is a large mistake for them saying that using colloquial youth language without any profanity or swearing is obscene, which is in essence what they are saying, and I think that is a violation of people’s rights to free expression and for that reason and because there are some sweeping claims about that, we took the legal recourse which is to take the CNA to administrative court on this issue and on those two points.

CZB: They also mentioned that South Park is promoting wrong behavior.

David Coolidge: It is very difficult for me to figure out why they singled us out and they have chosen to let MTV and VIVA and VH-1 to broadcast the same video. I find it inexplicable that they allow foreign companies who don’t report people in Romania to broadcast materials with similar distribution as we have, while they don’t allow us to do it. But they are foreign companies and the CNA has no control over them.

Well, they actually do have control over the cable operators who have to have their grills approved. It is basically absurd because they are hurting our capability to compete with foreign TV Channels and I also feel that they are hurting the domestic music market by, in essence, banning a whole hip hop segment for using the colloquial language.

CZB: Did you try talking to them. Did you explain this to them?

David Coolidge: We have tried to explain this to them but we have had trouble and we have not been allowed an official hearing on any of these issues meaning that we have never presented our case to them because we have never been allowed to present our case to them – and to be honest, this is a procedural issue that they are required to follow and they have not.

CZB: I often read Q… which is a British music magazine, and inside, they write and use the words fuck, shit, ass. How do you view this difference of mentalities?

David Coolidge: I think that defining obscenity is one of the most difficult things for society and I do not think any society is 100% comfortable with their definition. Generally, the words you mentioned are not acceptable for broadcast. I do not really have a problem with that. I think that profanity such as that does not necessarily need to be on TV. I do feel that banning slang is crossing the line and going too far… I mean nobody speaks the way The Academy says you are supposed to speak. Everybody uses some slang and if you say that youth slang is wrong, where do you draw the line and then you’re saying, well speaking like a gypsy is obscene. It’s illogical. I can see saying that you can’t use a lot of curse words and things like that but it is admittedly a very difficult decision but I think that to say that the way a significant portion of the population speaks is a little bit much and especially considering that a large portion of the music market is using that.

CZB: Did you ever think that you would reach this problem when you first started out with Atomic TV in Romania?

David Coolidge: I never though we would have this particular type of problem because we have been fairly careful to make sure that we are not using profanity and that we do look over the words that are going out over the channel but right now, one of our difficulties with the scene is they said that this is bad but they have not said why so one of the reasons why we are taking this legal action is not so much to nail or to get back at the CNA but to define where the line is. I mean, the law is very vague. It is not clear as to what we need to do and we are hoping that the result from this will be a clearer definition about what is and what is not considered obscene.

We feel fairly strongly that the things we’ve been cited for as obscene are not. That’s one of the reasons we’re in the courts and I feel this needs to be defined a little bit further, which will make everybody’s life easier.

CZB: Do you feel Atomic TV is being framed?

David Coolidge: I think there have been some articles suggesting that. I wouldn’t like to say that. I would like to say that certainly a lot of the materials that have been cited are being shown on other TV Channels. The CNA said they went after us first and they will go after everybody next. I will let you make that judgment. I would rather not comment on that one.

CZB: What chances do you think you have.

David Coolidge: We’re fairly confident. That’s why we’re doing this.

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