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Football Association to take NRK to court

Norway's Football Association has threatened to take state-owned broadcaster NRK to court for copyright violation after it started showing 90 second excerpts of each of the country's Elite League games.

Football Association to take NRK to court
Orkla and FK Rosenborg meet in the Orkdals Bank Stadium. Photo: Ned Alley/NTB Scanpix
The national channel has been airing long match segments since June last year, when a new EU directive established the right of television channels to air excerpts of sporting events as part of news stories, even if they have not bought the rights to broadcast the events.
 
The excerpts were taken from the websites of NRK's competitor TV2, which has brought the rights to Norwegian premiership games. 
 
"We had hoped that it wouldn't go as far as court, but we have to protect our exclusive right to broadcast these matches," Knut Kristvang of Fotball Media AS, which manages the Norwegian FA's rights, told Klassekampen newspaper.
 
NRK's legal director Olaf Nyhus said that Fotball Media appeared to have missed the entire point of the EU directive. 
 
"We have interpreted the wording of the directive as responsibly as we possibly can," he said. "It remains to see what will be the outcome of this." 

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NRK

Norway TV flooded with complaints after Eid broadcast

Norway's broadcasting ombudsman has received close to a hundred complaints this week after state broadcaster NRK gave the Muslim Eid celebrations the sort of coverage normally given to Christmas.

Norway TV flooded with complaints after Eid broadcast
The Norwegian journalist Rima Iraki led the Celebration atfer the Fast programme. Photo: NRK
According to Erik Skarrud, the ombudsman's secretary, the organisation received 93 reports after the broadcast of “The Celebration after the Fast” on Sunday night, of which only a handful were positive. 
 
“Someone called it 'propaganda for Islam' and a large number of them used the same sort of expression. There's probably a text somewhere that people are cutting and pasting from,” he told Kampanje magazine.
 
Others complained they “did not want to pay for something that could lead to terror”. 
 
Over 300,000 people tuned in to watch the broadcast, which was helmed by the popular journalist Rima Iraki, the former presenter of NRK's Dagsrevyen news programme. 
 
Eirik Sandberg Ingstad, who led the project, said he felt the experiment, the first such broadcast by a major Western TV channel, had been a huge success. 
 
“We are pretty pleased with it. The response from the audience during and after the broadcast has been overwhelmingly positive, which indicates that we succeeded in creating a party where everyone felt welcome,” he told Kampanje. 
 
 
The controversy prompted Norway's culture minister Abid Raja to write an opinion article, “When can I say 'my Norway'?, on NRK complaining of people's unwillingness to accept Muslim citizens as truly Norwegian. 
 
He said that he himself had fasted on-and-off for Eid all his life, despite “not being the best Muslim in class”, and had found it emotional to see it celebrated by the nation. 
 
“It was a historic event when our public broadcaster, as the first in a western country, dedicated an evening to the celebration of the end of the fast,” he said. 
 
But that feeling had changed to “discomfort” as he learned of the complaints, he said, reminding him of the kind of abuse he received growing up in Norway, and still today as a minister: “You are not a Norwegian. This is not your Norway. Go back where you came from you Muslim bastard, you Paki.”  
 
He said he had always tried not to provoke those who felt only ethnically Norwegian should use the term. 
 
“For many years I lived with a kind of compromise. Instead of calling myself a 'Norwegian', I chose to use the terms 'new Norwegian' or 'brown Norwegian', in an attempt not to provoke people who are put out by me saying 'I am Norwegian',” he wrote.
 
But he said he wanted to change that. 
 
“I was born in Norway, in Oslo, and with the exception of one academic year in Oxford and one working year at the Norwegian Embassy in India, I have lived all my life in Norway,” he said. 
 
“My wife, Nadia, has too. My children are Norwegian. And I want to be buried in Norway when that day comes. From cradle to grave, I am Norwegian.”