The media and entertainment business is one of the country’s most creative and innovative industries. Despite its modest size, Latvia offers its market end-users around 240 newspapers, including national and international daily as well as sufficiently strong industry players delivering Russian-language products. Latvia has more than 20 national and regional television firms, which are in line with the competitive radio sector and the rapidly rising cinema industry. With the global proliferation of mobile products, national ad agencies have been garnering large investments aimed at web-based ads and video advertising on mobile devices.

National Council for Electronic Media

The National Council for Electronic Media is in charge of electronic media activities such as broadcasting and re-transmission permits, development, monitoring, compliance, compilations, collecting, and information analyses. The requirement of possessing broadcasting rights must be met to produce and distribute a program. The National Council for Electronic Media promotes broadcasting rights competition announcements in Latvia, which are open to natural individuals, legal entities, and associations (of natural and legal persons from either Latvia, the EU, or the EEA). In turn, firms interested in providing broadcasting services must follow the rules outlined in the national Law on Electronic Media, which contains a framework for specific registration procedures as well as permissions for the creation and broadcasting of information and programs. To conduct the re-transmission functions of the programs using public electronic communication networks, one must first get permission from the owner, i.e. the re-transmission program’s holder, as well as the National Council for Electronic Media’s agreement.

Copyrights Law

Copyrighting is protected by the national Copyrights Law. It also establishes what is covered by copyright and regulates royalties claims. The Latvian writers’ society AKKA / LAA (Copyright and Communication Consulting Agency/Latvian Authors Association) and Latvian Performers’ and Producers’ Association are in charge of the collective management of economic rights, as well as the effective protection of copyrights and royalties (LaIPA).

In Latvia, royalties are considered taxable income. Under the supervision of the State Revenue Service, both the beneficiary and the person paying the royalties are responsible for complying with the requirements relating to taxes and necessary contributions.

If the beneficial owner of royalty payment is a firm or a permanent establishment in another Member State, the payment is tax-free in that state. The European Union Council Directive on a Common System of Taxation Applicable to Interest and Royalty Payments made between Associated Companies of Different Member States provides for the exemption of tax on royalty payments in several instances. Royalty payments are free from taxes in the specific State if the beneficial owner of the payment is a firm or a permanent establishment in another Member State, according to Directive 2003/49/EC, often known as the EU Interest & Royalties Directive.

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