Kataeb take back ‘Voice of Lebanon’. MMC appeals court’s decision and fines - Lebanon

Kataeb take back ‘Voice of Lebanon’
MMC appeals court’s decision and fines
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The commercial local court has ordered handing back to the Kataeb Party the sole ownership and right to use of the ‘Voice of Lebanon’ (VDL) name. The opponent station's management can still appeal the decision.

The VDL was initially established by the Kataeb back in 1958, then again during the 1975-1995 war. In November 2010, the station was split into two stations broadcasting on two different frequencies, but operating under the same name. The first, broadcasting under 93.3 FM, is managed by the Modern Media Company (MMC) and has relocated to Dbayeh. The second station used a new frequency, 100.5 FM, and retained its initial address in Ashrafieh under Kataeb ownership.

The court ordered canceling all MMC trademarks referring to VDL. Failure to comply with this resolution will result in a LL1 million fine for each day of delay.

Sam Menassa, General Manager of VDL-Ashrafieh, said that the decision is not final, and any implementation will have to wait for the legal decision of the court of appeal, if any. MMC has one month to appeal the decision. The final decision could be announced in less than six months.

The MMC said it has the sole rights to use the VDL name under the media law number 382/94. The company also said that the resolution number 13474 issued in 1998 allowed them to use the station’s name.

“MMC has stolen the station’s name and used it improperly, and this act will result in prosecution,” said Sassine Sassine, a law attorney close to the Ashrafieh station. He said that using the 93.3 FM frequency is also subject to conflict. According to him, the court’s resolution will affect advertisers too. “The MMC will be questioned about all the revenues it made through the use of the VDL name, specifically advertisements and promotions.”
Reported by Rana Freifer
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Date Posted: Sep 30, 2013