Press law, case I CKN 1344/00

June 28th, 2005, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Supreme Court in its judgment of 24 October 2002 case file I CKN 1344/00 held that the current Polish legal system of registration of newspapers’ titles is not a pure system of notification, because it requires the registration court to consider the interest of both publisher and readers during the registration process, therefore, the registration process include some elements of control, but which does not violate the principle of freedom of the press. The Court deliberated on the provisions of Article 21 of Polish Act of 26 January 1984 on Press law – APL – (in Polish: ustawa Prawo prasowe), published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No. 5, item 24, with subsequent amendmets.

A registrar body shall deny the registration if:
[1] the application does not contain data that the Act describes (the daily newspaper’s or the periodical’s title, the seat of the publisher and the exact address of the editorial office, the particulars of the editor-in-chief, the particulars of the publisher, the frequency of publishing of the daily newspaper or the periodical) and

[2] if granting registration would constitute infringement of the right to the legal protection of an existing press title.

According to the Court, the provision of providing the protection of an existing press title, was introduced not only because of the interests of a publisher, but also in the interest of readers, allowing them to select and buy a title, which they actually want to.