Thinley Namgay

Stating “breach of copyright laws” the Bhutan Broadcasting Service Corporation (BBSC) management has stopped live streaming of movies and other programmes that do not belong to the corporation.

“It has been found that few contents have been uploaded on YouTube without prior permission, which is a breach of the copyright laws. As the BBS broadcasts content that does not belong to the BBS, it has been imperative that BBS stops live-streaming with immediate effect,” BBS management stated in its official Facebook page.

“However, live streaming shall continue for the news and programmes from 7pm until 11pm, press briefings and announcements,” BBS management stated.

BBS’s Managing Director, Tshering Wangchuk, said that understanding the copyright concerns, BBS had to stop live streaming of the contents on Facebook and YouTube. However, people can watch movies and other programmes on television daily.

Currently, BBS is broadcasting movies to engage the people during the lockdown meaningfully. The Royal Office for Media (ROM) has bought the films from film producers before the nationwide lockdown to help the film fraternity during the pandemic.

Tshering Wangchuk said that ROM had handed more than 90 films to the BBS to broadcast for the public during the lockdown. “ROM has full copyright for these movies.”

BBS has started broadcasting two movies daily since August 13. Fourteen films were broadcasted as of yesterday. The movies are broadcast at 10am in the morning and 3:30pm in the afternoon.

Most of these movies are produced in 2018 and 2019, which was not broadcast on the BBS before. BBSC is also broadcasting short films and the movies produced by private individual. “On our request, people from the Film Association of Bhutan have made 45 short films during this pandemic which have duration of one hour each. BBSC is broadcasting these short movies daily at 9am,” said Tshering Wangchuk.

On August 17, the movie- ‘Pot of Gold’ was broadcast on the request of the private individual. “If the private individual (producer) request BBS to broadcast their movie for free, we do it,” said Tshering Wangchuk.

Meanwhile, Bhutanese movies are a big hit among the people with many expressing their appreciation on social media. Lungten Tshering, a cable line worker in Trashigang, said that he usually watch local movies during the leisure time. “It has really helped people stay home during the lockdown.”

Another movie enthusiast, Yuden Wangmo from Uzorong, said that being a Bhutanese she was fond of Bhutanese movie.