3 Dec 2004

Samoa's Broadcasting Corporation gets movie ticking-off

4:22 pm on 3 December 2004

Samoa's Attorney-General has told the state-run Samoa Broadcasting Corporation that it must not show movies it has not paid for the rights to.

The Samoa Observer newspaper says the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Labour, Lemalu Tate Simi, has confirmed that the broadcasting of some films has been referred to the Attorney-General's office for a legal opinion.

A senior official at the office says a letter has been sent to the SBC advising it not to screen any more unauthorised films.

The SBC's chief executive, Faiesea Lei Sam-Matafeo, says she has not seen such a letter.

She also says that SBC does not screen movies it does not have rights to and pays Fiji Television and Television New Zealand for its movies.

However, the owner of a local cinema, Maposua Rudolph Keil, has claimed that the SBC's recent airing of "Lord of the RIngs" was unauthorised.

He claimed it was a pirated copy and that there is a stand-down period of six months up to a year from a film's release date before it can be screened on free to air television or cable.