Assembleia da República (Assembly of the Republic)
Approves the Radio Broadcasting Law
According to paragraph c) of article 161 of the Constitution, Parliament decrees the following to serve as a general law of the Republic:
The object of this law is to regulate access to the activity of radio broadcasting and conducting the same on Portuguese territory.
1 - For the purposes of this law the following definitions are made:
a) Radio broadcasting - the unilateral broadcast of audio communication, by means of radio-electric waves or any other appropriate form, designed for reception by the public in general:
b) Radio broadcasting operator - the corporation legally authorised to carry out the activity of radio broadcasting;
c) Program service, the group of programming items, both serial and individual, supplied by the radio broadcasting operator and identified as such on the licence issued following an administrative licensing or authorisation procedure;
d) Generalist programme service - the service of programmes that follows a universal programming model, embracing various types of radio content;
e) Thematic programme service - the service of programmes that follows a programming model centred on a particular content, either musical, informative, or other;
f) Own programmes - those that are produced on the premises and with the technical and human resources pertaining to the program service covered by a particular licence or authorisation, and specifically directed at listeners in their geographical area of cover;
g) Chain Broadcasting - the simultaneous or deferred, complete or partial broadcast of the same program service by more than one licensed or authorised operator for exercising the activity of radio broadcasting.
2 - Exceptions to the provisions of paragraph a) of the previous number are:
a) The one-off broadcast of audio communications, by means of technical apparatus set up in the vicinity of places where events they are related to are held and aimed at the public gathered there, as long as they do not involve the use of the radio-electric spectrum;
b) Broadcasts over the Internet.
3 - Exceptions to the provisions of paragraph f) of no. 1 are advertising broadcasts or those that are merely repetitive.
Exercising the activity of radio broadcasting
1 - The activity of radio broadcasting may only be pursued by organisations that are corporations and that have the main objective of exercising the activity, according to this present law.
2 - Exercising the activity of radio broadcasting is only permitted by the allocation of a licence or authorisation, granted according to this law, safeguarding the rights of operators that are already duly authorised.
3 - The frequencies to be used by the Concessionaire Company of the public radio broadcasting service are allocated by a joint official communication from the members of the Government responsible for the areas of Media and Communications.
4 - The authorisations for the provision of new programme services by the concessionaire of the public service are allocated by an official communication from the member of the Government responsible for the area of Media.
5 - Radio broadcasting operators with local program services should produce and broadcast the respective broadcasts from the premises that the licence or authorisation relates to.
Typology of the radio broadcasting program services
1 - As for area of cover, the program services may be of national, regional or local scope, according to whether, with the same recommended signal, they cover respectively:
a) Most of Portuguese territory;
b) A group of districts on continental Portugal or a group of islands in the Autonomous Regions, or an island with several municipalities;
c) A municipality and any adjoining areas, according to the technical requirements for the necessary cover of the same;
2 - As for the content of the programmes, the program services can be generalist or thematic.
3 - Classification of the program services according to the level of cover and content of the programmes is the responsibility of the Alta Autoridade para a Comunicação Social (AACS - The High Authority for the Media).
University program services
1 - The frequencies available for conducting the activity of local radio broadcasting may be reserved for providing program services aimed at universities, by joint official communication of the members of the Government responsible for the areas of Media, Communications and Education.
2 - The document mentioned in the previous number will open the public tender for which only organisations financed by higher education institutions and student associations in the geographic area covered by the frequencies to be allocated may apply, and should include the respective regulations.
3 - Once projects submitted for the same tender have been selected, for the purposes of grading the applications the AACS will bear in mind the diversity and creativity of the project, the promotion of experimentalism and the forming of new values, the capacity to contribute towards the debating of ideas and towards knowledge, as well as bringing academic life and the local population closer, and also the institutional co-operation attained by the organisations signing the project.
4 -The programme services referred to in this article may not include any form of commercial advertising, including that of sponsors.
5 - The programme services licensed in accordance with this article are not covered by article 42. and may only broadcast their own programmes, and the provisions of this law for local thematic programmes is the most applicable to them.
The activity of radio broadcasting may not be conducted or financed by political parties or associations, local government, trade unions, employer unions or professional unions, directly or indirectly by organisations that are shareholders of them or subsidised by them.
Competition and Concentration
1 - The general regulations of defence and promotion of competition, are applicable to radio broadcasting operators, particularly as regards prohibited practice, especially the abuse of dominant position, and the concentration of companies, with specialities covered in this law.
2 - Concentration operations between radio broadcasting operators, whether horizontal or vertical, follow the provisions of article 18., and the AACS, without prejudice to the application of the weighting criteria stipulated therein, should refuse that the same take place when they clearly jeopardise free expression and the encounter of different points of view.
3 - No individual or corporation may hold shares in more than five radio broadcasting operators.
4. In one single municipality, no single operator is permitted shareholdings of above 25% of the capital of more than one local programme services radio broadcasting operator.
Transparency of property
1 - The shares making up the share capital of radio broadcasting operators that constitute limited companies are compulsorily of nominative value.
2 - Any changes in the share capital of operators that form companies should be communicated to the AACS, within a maximum of 30 days, by the notary public that conducted the public contract for the same.
Aims of radio broadcasting activity
1 - Within the constitutional principles in force, the aims of generalist radio broadcasting programme services are:
a) To promote the exercise of the right to inform and be informed, scrupulously and independently, without hindrance or discrimination;
b) Contribute towards political, social and cultural pluralism;
c) Contribute towards the education of the public, favouring the recognition of citizenship as an essential factor for democracy;
d) Promote the Portuguese culture and language and the values that express national identity.
2 - A specific aim of the local generalist programme services is the broadcast of programmes aimed specifically at the audience within the geographic area that the licence or authorisation covers.
3 - Thematic program services are aimed at contributing towards the diversity of radio supply in the respective area of cover, by means of the adopted model.
The State ensures the existence and the functioning of a concessionaire public radio broadcasting service, according to chapter IV.
With a view to ensuring the possibility of expression and the encounter of differing points of view, the State organises a non-discriminatory incentive system to support local audio radio broadcasting, based on general and objective criteria stipulated in a specific law.
1 - It is the responsibility of the Media Institute (ICS) to organise a registry of the radio broadcasting operators and the respective licences for conducting radio broadcasting activities, as well as of the shareholders, in cases when operators constitute companies, according to the stipulations of the regulating decree.
2 - Radio broadcasting operators are obliged to provide the ICS with the necessary items for the purposes of registration, and keep them updated, according to the decrees mentioned in the previous number.
3 - The ICS may, at any moment, carry out audits for inspection and control of the items provided by the radio broadcasting operators.
1 - The definition of technical conditions for conducting radio broadcasting activities and of the equipment to be used, according to the terms and duration of the granting of the necessary radio-electric licences and the amounts of the respective fees, are stipulated in a regulating document.
2 - The document mentioned in the previous number stipulates the conditions for which it is possible to request the utilisation of retransmitter stations and the positioning of the respective broadcasting station outside of the municipality of the area intended to be covered, when there is a need to improve the technical quality of cover of licensed programme services.
Access to the activity
Modes of access
1 - Access to radio broadcasting activity is the object of licensing, by public tender or by authorisation, depending on whether the programme services to be supplied use the hertzian land spectrum or not.
2 - Licences or authorisations for broadcast are individualised according to the number of programme services to be supplied by each operator.
3 - Licences and authorisations are not transferable.
4 - The public radio broadcasting services are excepted from no. 1 in accordance with Chapter IV.
Issue of the licences and authorisations
1 - It is the responsibility of the AACS to grant licences and authorisations for conducting radio broadcasting activities, in accordance with no. 2 of the previous article, as well as to conduct the corresponding renewals.
2 - The licence for conducting radio broadcasting activities contains namely the designation and type of programme service it relates to, identification and headquarters of the holder, as well as the area of cover, and the permitted frequencies and power, if applicable.
3 - The model of the licence or permit referred to in the previous number is approved by joint official communication of the members of the Government responsible for the areas of Media and Communications.
Preparation of procedures
1 - The licensing or authorisation procedures will be prepared by the ICS, which for the purpose will gather the necessary opinions from the Instituto das Comunicações de Portugal (ICP), regarding the technical conditions for applications.
2 - The processes that do not fulfil the legal and regulatory conditions of application are not accepted and the respective refusal will be the object of an official communication by the member of Government responsible for the area of Media.
3 - The ICS submits the processes for analysis by the AACS within a period of 45 days after the ending of the deadline for submittal of applications or after the clearance of the procedures, or within 7 days after the reception and clearance, according to whether dealing with a licence or an authorisation for programme services.
4 - The AACS will make a decision within 60 or 15 days, depending on whether it is for a programme services licence or authorisation respectively.
1 - Licences and authorisations are issued for a term of 10 years, renewable for equal periods, by request of the holder six months in advance, and the corresponding decision should be given within three months from the date request was submitted.
2 - In the case that the AACS does not give an answer within three months, it can be considered that the request for renewal has been implicitly approved.
1 - The realisation of legal transactions that involve the change of control of a company that holds the legal permit for conducting radio broadcasting activities may only take place three years after the original granting of the licence, or one year after the last renewal, and should be subject to the prior approval of the AACS.
2 - The AACS decides within a period of 30 days, after checking and weighing up of the initial conditions that were decisive in the granting of the licence and of the interests of the potential listeners of the programme services provided, guaranteeing the preservation of the conditions that enabled them to make a decision on the original project or on subsequent changes.
3 - For the purposes of no. 1, it is considered that control of the company exists when it is discovered that there is isolated or joint influence on its activity, bearing in mind the de facto and legal circumstances, particularly through the existence of rights to dispose of any part of the respective assets or rights that confer the power to determine the composition or decisions of the organs of the company.
4 - The system established in the previous numbers is applicable to the merger of co-operatives, with the necessary adaptations, and in cases where the prerequisites are gathered for the realisation of the operation, the AACS should carry out the respective changes to the licence for conducting the activity.
Observance of the approved project
1 - The radio broadcasting operator is obliged to comply with the terms and conditions of the licensed or authorised programme service.
2 - Changes in the programme service may only take place one year after the granting of the licence or authorisation and is subject to the approval of the AACS.
3 - Requests for changes should be substantiated bearing in mind, namely, the market evolution and the implications for the potential listeners of the programme service in question.
4 - In the case of the AACS not answering within 90 days, the change may be considered implicitly approved.
Expiry and suspension
1 - The licences and authorisations expire at the end of the period of time for which they were awarded or by revocal, and may also be suspended according to article 69.
2 - Revocal of the licences or authorisations is the responsibility of the AACS and takes place in the cases covered by article 70.
The Government will approve the regulations applicable to the licensing and authorisation of radio broadcasting programme services and the respective renewal, which will stipulate the required documentation and the amount of the applicable bonds and fees.
Land digital radio broadcasting
The licences held by analogue radio broadcasting operators are adequate authorisations for conducting the respective activity via the land digital hertzian spectrum, in terms to be stipulated in specific legislation.
Analogue radio broadcasting
Radio broadcasting in kilometric and decametric waves
1 - The activity of radio broadcasting in kilometric waves (long waves) and decametric waves (short waves) is ensured by the concessionaire of the public radio broadcasting service, without prejudice to the present concessionaire or duly licensed operators.
2 - In exceptional cases, and for reasons of public interest, the activity referred to in the previous number may be carried out by other organisations, by means of a concessionaire contract to be authorised by a Cabinet decision.
Radio broadcasting in hectometric and metric waves
The activity of radio broadcasting in hectometric waves (medium waves - modulated amplitude) and metric waves (very short waves - modulated frequency) may be carried out by any operator, according to no. 1 of article 3.
Opening of tender
1 - Licences for conducting radio broadcasting activities are granted by public tender.
2 - The public tender is opened, after hearing the AACS, by joint official communication of the members of the Government responsible for the areas of Media and Communications, which should comprise the respective objective and regulations.
Presentation of applications
1 - The required items for the granting of licences for conducting the activity of radio broadcasting are sent to the AACS and submitted to the ICS for initiation, within the deadline stipulated in the official communication opening the public tender.
2 - Apart from other documents required in the tender regulations, applicants should present a detailed description of the technical and human resources involved in the project and of the activity they propose to carry out.
Limits to classification
1 - In each one of the municipalities that constitute the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Oporto there will be at least one frequency assigned to a local and generalist programme service.
2 - Outside of the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Oporto, the local programme services broadcast by land hertzian waves may only be classified as thematic if, in the respective municipality, at least two frequencies are assigned to generalist programme services.
Preference in the granting of licences
Once projects presented in the same tender have been selected for the granting of licences, the AACS will take the following into account, for the purposes of grading of applicants:
a) The quality of the project for operation, gauged according to the overall weighing up of the general lines of programmes, of how it corresponds to the social and cultural reality it is aimed at, of the Editorial Statute and the number of hours dedicated to information covering the intended area;
b) The creativity and diversity of the project;
c) The lowest number of licences held by the same operator for conducting the activity;
d) The highest number of hours designed for the broadcast of Portuguese music.
Beginning of broadcasting
1 - Broadcasting should begin within a period of six months after the date of publication in the Diário da República of the decision to grant the respective licence.
2 - Radio broadcasting operators with national programme services are obliged to guarantee cover of 75% of the respective territorial space, within three years of the date of the granting of the respective licences, and ensure the remainder within a period of five years.
Associations of thematic programme services
Thematic programme services that obey the same specific model may form associations of up to a maximum of four, for the simultaneous broadcast of the respective programmes, but the distance between each broadcaster may not be less than 100km.
Conversion of the programme services
Change of classification
1 - Radio broadcasting operators whose programme services have been classified as thematic may, one year after the respective classification, request to change the classification to generalist, by request sent to the AACS and submitted to the ICS.
2 - The ICS notifies operators whose program services cover the very same geographic area as the applicant for them to comment, within 30 days, whether they also have the intention to change the classification of their respective program services, so that they may also make an application within 60 days from this same date.
1 - The request mentioned in no. 1 of the previous article should include the fundamentals of the project indicating the objectives to be reached, detailed description of the general lines of the programmes to be presented and indicating the human resources and equipment to be used.
2 - The procedures are submitted to the AACS to make a decision, in the 15 days following the end of the deadline for the applicable circumstances, among those mentioned in no. 2 of the previous article.
3 - Should the applications exceed the acceptable number of thematic programme services according to article 27., they will be graded according to the following preferential criteria:
a) The greatest percentage of time aimed at informative programmes;
b) The greatest percentage of their own programmes, as defined in paragraph g) of article 2.;
c) Suitability of the project for the population it is intended for;
d) Human resources involved.
4 - The AACS makes a decision within 30 days of reception of the procedure.
Radio broadcasting via satellite and by cable
1 - The granting of authorisations for the practice of the activity of radio broadcasting via satellite or by cable depends on the confirmation of the technical quality of the project.
2 - Besides the documentation indicated in the document mentioned in article 21, the application for authorisation should be accompanied by the items stated in no. 2 of article 26.
3 - The establishment of their own networks for transport and radio broadcasting signal distribution by cable or by satellite comply respectively with the provisions of Decree-Laws nos. 241/97, of 18th of September, and 381-A/97 of 31st of December.
Freedom of broadcasting and of information
Autonomy of operators
1 - The freedom of expression of thought, by means of the activity of radio broadcasting, is part of the basic right of citizens to free pluralist information, which is essential for democracy and the social and economic development of the Country.
2 - Except in the cases covered by this law, the practice of the activity of broadcasting is based on the freedom of broadcasting, and the State or any sovereign organisation, with the exception of the courts, may not hinder, condition or impose the broadcast of any programs.
Limits to the freedom of broadcasting
1 - Any broadcast that violates personal dignity, or violates rights, freedoms and fundamental guarantees or incites crime is prohibited.
2 - Radio broadcasting operators are forbidden to provide airtime for political propaganda, for any reason, without prejudice to the provisions of this law in the matter of the right to broadcasting time.
Right to information
1 - The access to places open to the public for the aims of journalistic cover is governed by the provisions of the Journalist's Statute.
2 - The informative cover of any events by radio broadcasting activity is subject to the applicable legal regulations in the matter of copyright and connected matters, including those relating to the free use of protected works or contributions.
3 - The holders of rights resulting from the organisation of shows or other public events may not oppose the radio broadcast of brief extracts that are designed to inform about the basic content of the events in question.
4 - The exercise of the right to information on sporting events, namely by means of radio report or commentary, may not be limited or conditioned by stipulation of any financial compensation, except for that designed to support the costs resulting from provision of the technical or human resources required for the purpose.
5 - The provisions of the previous number applies to radio broadcasting operators that are licensed or authorised by foreign law, as long as the same treatment is conferred to Portuguese operators by the legislation or authorities to which they are subject, in sporting events of a similar nature.
Obligations of the operators
Person in charge of the content of broadcasts
Each programme service should have a person responsible for the guidance and supervision of the content of the broadcasts.
1 - Each programme service should adopt an editorial statute which clearly defines its orientation and objectives and includes the commitment to respect the rights of listeners, as well as the principles of practice for journalists and professional ethics.
2 - The editorial statute is drawn up by the person in charge mentioned in the previous article, once the Editing Board has been heard, and subject to acceptance by the proprietor, and should be submitted to the AACS within the 60 days following the beginning of broadcasting.
3 - Any changes introduced in the editorial statute are in accordance with the provisions of the previous number.
4 - In cases where the programme services have already begun broadcasting, the deadline mentioned in no. 2 is counted from the date this Decree-Law comes into force.
1 - Radio broadcasting operators who provide generalist or thematic information programme services should produce and broadcast regular news services therein.
2 - The programme services mentioned in the previous number should broadcast a minimum of three news services relating to their own geographical area, of their own production, compulsorily broadcast between 7am and midnight, with an overall duration of no less than three hours.
1 - News services, including their editing functions are only to be carried out by journalists.
2 - In local programme services, the news services and editing functions may also be ensured by the equivalent of journalists.
1 - Local programme services may broadcast a minimum of eight hours of their own programmes, to be broadcast between 7am and midnight, except for the provisions of article 30.
2 - During the time for their own programmes, the programme services should indicate their name, broadcasting frequency - if relevant - as well as the place they are broadcasting from, at least once an hour.
Number of broadcasting hours
The programme services broadcast via land hertzian waves should function twenty-four hours per day.
1 - The programmes should be recorded and kept for at least 30 days, if a longer period is not stipulated by law or by legal decision.
2 - The programme services should organise a monthly register of the works that are broadcast, for the purposes of royalties and connected matters, to be sent to the institutions representing the artists, during the same month, if requested.
3 - The registry referred to in the previous number comprises the following items:
a) Title of the work;
b) Artist and interpretation;
c) Date of broadcast.
1 - Radio advertising is governed by the provisions of the Advertising Code, with the specialities covered in the following numbers.
2 - At the beginning and the end of sponsored programmes there should be clear mention of this fact.
3 - General information programmes, namely news services, may not be sponsored.
4 - The inclusion of advertising should not affect the unity of the programmes, and should take into account its own breaks, duration and nature.
5 - The broadcast of advertising material should not occupy more than 20% of the total daily broadcasting time of the licensed programme services.
Scope of the concession
1 - The concession of the public radio broadcasting service covers national, regional and international broadcasts, which may be rebroadcast locally, by analogue or digital, via the land hertzian spectrum, cable, satellite or other appropriate means, within the context of the authorisations that are granted for the use of the radio-electric spectrum and for the provision of new programme services.
2 - The terms and conditions of the concession are defined by a contract held between the concessionaire and the State.
3 - The contract mentioned in the previous number requires the opinion of the AACS and of the opinion board of the concessionaire company, envisaged in article 51., within the scope of their respective duties.
Public service concessionaire
1 - The public radio broadcasting service is provided by a state-funded operator, whose articles of association are approved by decree-law.
2 - The public radio broadcasting service concession is granted for a renewable period of 15 years, in accordance with the respective contract.
3 - Concession rights are non-transferable.
The mission of the public radio broadcasting service
1 - The concessionaire should ensure high-standard, innovative programmes of reference that satisfy the cultural, educational, formative, informative and recreative necessities of the various listeners, and is obliged namely to:
a) Ensure the pluralism, scrupulousness and impartiality of the information, as well as its independence from any powers, public or private;
b) Broadcast programmes that are innovative and varied, that encourage education and cultural appreciation, with special attention paid to young listeners;
c) Broadcast programmes that are aggregative and accessible to the whole population, taking into account their age-groups, occupations and interests;
d) Broadcast programmes that express national social and cultural diversity, fighting all forms of exclusion and discrimination, and that respond to the minority interests of the different categories of the public;
e) Guarantee news cover of the main national and foreign events;
f) Promote and disseminate national artistic creativity and the recognition of the Country's historic and cultural heritage;
g) Broadcast regular programmes aimed at the international dissemination of the Portuguese language and culture;
2 - It is also the obligation of the concessionaire to incorporate technological innovations that contribute to improve the efficiency and the quality of the service that is its responsibility and of radio broadcasting activities in general.
Apart from other obligations on the concessionaire contract, the concessionaire is obliged to provide the following specific services:
a) To ensure the broadcast of messages requested by the President of the Republic, by the President of the Assembly of the Republic and by the Prime-Minister, with due consequence and maximum urgency;
b) Ensure the exercise of the right to broadcasting time, as well as the political right to reply for opposition parties, in the terms of articles 52. and 57.;
c) Maintain and update the audio archives;
d) Ensure the functioning of the Radio Museum;
e) Develop co-operation with radio broadcasting operators of Portuguese speaking countries;
f) Maintain relations of co-operation and exchange with international organisations and foreign organisations connected with the activity of radio broadcasting.
1 - The public radio broadcasting service is financed by the fees charged for audio radio broadcasting, stipulated by Decree-Law no. 389/76 of the 24th of May, as well as other forms of payment to be stipulated in accordance with protocols held between the State and the concessionaire.
2 - The fee for audio radio broadcasting is covered by paragraph a) of no. 1 of article 148. of the Código de Procedimento e de Processo Tributário (Tax Proceedings Code), approved by Decree-Law no. 433/99 of 26th of October.
Inspection of compliance of the public service
Inspection and checking of the compliance of the concessionaire contract between the State and the concessionaire of the public radio broadcasting service, according to the terms therein is the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance and the member of Government in charge of the area of the Mass Media.
1 - The Opinion Board of the public radio broadcasting service is made up mainly of members indicated by associations or other organisations representing the different sectors of public opinion and its composition is covered by the concessionaire's statute.
2 - It is the responsibility of the Opinion Board to:
a) Give its opinion on the compliance of their public service obligations by the concessionaire and its compliance with the relevant constitutional, legal and contractual provisions;
b) Propose to the State Shareholder the names of the vice-president and of one or two voting members of the concessionaire's Board of Directors, depending on whether this has three or five members, according to the statutes of the same;
c) Give its' opinion on the contract for concession of the public radio broadcasting service;
d) Evaluate the plans for activities and budget relating to the following year, as well as the report and accounts of the concessionaire;
e) Evaluate the general basis of the concessionaire's activity regarding programming and investment plans;
f) Evaluate the concessionaire's activity within the scope of co-operation with Portuguese speaking countries and of support to Portuguese communities abroad;
g) Make declarations about other questions that social organisations may put to it.
Rights to broadcasting time and to reply or political reply
Right to broadcasting time
Access to the right to broadcasting time
1 - Political parties, trades union organisations, professional organisations, and those that represent economic activities; environmental protection and consumer associations; and also non-governmental organisations that promote equal opportunities and non-discrimination, are guaranteed the right to broadcasting time on the public radio service.
2 - Broadcasting time is understood to mean an individual programme slot which is the responsibility of the holder of the right, a fact that should be explicitly mentioned at the beginning and at the end of each programme.
3 - The organisations mentioned in no. 1 have the right to the following annual free amount of broadcasting time:
a) Ten minutes per party represented in Parliament, plus fifteen seconds for each elected MP;
b) Five minutes per party not represented in the Assembly of the Republic that participated in the most recent national elections, plus fifteen seconds for each 15,000 votes obtained in the elections;
c) Sixty minutes, per category for trades union organisations, professional organisations, and those that represent economic activities; and sixty minutes for the other organisations indicated in no. 1, to be divided according to their representation;
d) Ten minutes for other organisations that have the right to broadcasting time granted by law.
4 - Each holder may not use the right to broadcasting time more than once every 15 days, nor in programmes that last more than five minutes or less than two minutes, unless their overall broadcasting time is less.
5 - The people in charge of the programme should organise general plans for its respective use with the collaboration of the holders of the right to broadcasting time and in accordance with this present law.
6 - When it is irreparably impossible to reach an agreement on the plans mentioned in the previous number and by request of interested parties, the AACS will arbitrate.
Limitations of the right to broadcasting time
1 - The exercise of the right to broadcasting time may not take place on Saturdays, Sundays or Bank Holidays, and should also cease one month before the date fixed for the beginning of a campaign for any elections or referendums, according to the respective law.
2 - The right to broadcasting time is non-transferable.
Broadcasting and reserve of right to broadcasting time
1 - Broadcasting time programmes are broadcast in the national program service with the highest number of listeners between 10am and 8pm.
2 - The holders of the right to broadcasting time should request to reserve the broadcasting time that they are entitled to up to five working days before the broadcast, and the respective recording should be carried out or the pre-recorded materials should be submitted up to forty-eight hours before the broadcast of the programme.
3 - The holders of the right to broadcasting time are ensured the provision of indispensable technical resources for the production of the respective programmes in conditions of absolute equality.
Forfeit of the right to broadcasting time
Non-compliance with the deadlines in the previous article will mean forfeit of the right, unless it is due to forces beyond the control of the holder, in which case the unused time may be added to the next program taking place after the end of the impediment.
Right to broadcasting time during election-time
During election-time, the use of the right to broadcasting time is regulated by the electoral law.
Right to political reply
Right to political reply of opposition parties
1 - The parties represented in the Assembly of the Republic that do not form part of the Government have the right to reply to political statements made by the Government that are directly aimed at them, on the public radio broadcasting service and during the same program service.
2 - The duration and emphasis granted for the exercise of the right mentioned in the previous number will be the same as for the original statements that give rise to the reply.
3 - When more than one party has requested the exercise of the right, by means of the respective representative, the time is distributed in equal parts among the various holders, and each participant must be given at least one minute.
4 -The procedures covered in the present law for the exercise of right to reply are applicable to the right to political reply, with the appropriate adaptations.
5 - For the purposes of this present article, only general political or sectarian statements made by the Government in their name and identifiable as such will be considered, and no importance will be given namely to statements by members of the Government on matters relating to the management of its respective departments.
Rights to reply and make corrections
Prerequisites for the rights to reply and make corrections
1 - Any individual person or company, organisation, public service or organisation that has been the object of references, even indirectly, in the radio broadcasting programme services, that may affect their reputation or good name has the right to reply therein.
2 - The organisations mentioned in the previous number have the right to make corrections on the radio whenever untrue or erroneous references have been made therein regarding them.
3 - Whenever the program where the references mentioned in the previous numbers have been broadcast on a chain broadcast the rights to reply and make corrections may be exercised on the organisation responsible for this program or on any operator who has broadcast it.
4 - The right to reply and make corrections become null and void if the person responsible for the respective programme service has, with the explicit agreement of the interested party, corrected or clarified the text in question, or has provided them with another means of efficiently clarifying their position.
5 - The right to reply or make corrections are independent of legal proceedings for the fact that it was broadcast, as well as of the right to compensation for the harm caused by the same.
Right to hear the broadcast
1 - The holder of the right to reply or make corrections, or the person who legitimately represents them in accordance with no. 1 of the following article, may demand, for the purposes of exercising it, to hear the recording of the broadcast and for a personal copy, on payment of the cost of the material used, which should be provided to them within twenty-four hours.
2 - The request for hearing postpones the deadline for exercising the right, which recommences twenty-four hours after the moment at which it is provided to them.
Exercise of the rights to reply and make corrections
1 - The exercise of the right to reply and to make corrections should be requested by the holder himself or herself, by their legal representative or by their heirs during the 20 days following the broadcast.
2 - The deadline in the previous number is postponed when, for reasons of force majeure, the people referred to therein are prevented from exercising the right in question.
3 - The text of the reply or corrections should be submitted to the people responsible for the broadcast, with the signature and personal details of the writer, with proof of reception, explicitly evoking the right to reply or make corrections or the competent legal provisions.
4 - The content of the reply or corrections should be in direct, useful relation to the references that gave rise to them, and may not exceed 300 words, or the number of words of the text that gave rise to them, if this is greater.
5 - The reply or corrections may not contain expressions that are disproportionately uncivil or that involve criminal or civil liability, to which only the writer of the reply or corrections is liable.
Decision on the broadcast of the reply or corrections
1 - When the reply or corrections are unseasonable, come from a non-legitimate person, are clearly unjustified or contravene the provisions of nos. 4 and 5 of the previous article, the person responsible for the programme service in question may refuse broadcast of the same, and should inform the interested party of the refusal and the reasons for the same, in writing during the twenty-four hours following reception of the reply or corrections.
2 - If the reply or corrections is in violation of the provisions of nos. 4 or 5 of the previous article, the person in charge will invite the interested party, within the deadline stipulated in the previous number, to eliminate the passages or expressions in question within forty-eight hours, without which they will be entitled to refuse to broadcast the whole text.
3 - In cases where the right to reply or make corrections has not been satisfied or has been unjustifiably refused, the interested party may resort to the judicial court in the area of their residence within 10 days of the refusal or the expiry of the legal deadline for the satisfaction of the right, or to the AACS, according to the specifically applicable legislation.
4 - Once a request has been made for the legal notification of the person in charge of the program that has not satisfied the right to reply or correction, the latter is immediately notified by mail to contest within two working days, after which the decision will be pronounced in another two days, and in case of an appeal it has a solely devolutive effect.
5 - Only documental proof is allowed, and all documents should be provided with the initial request and with the appeal.
6 - In the case of proceeding with the request, the programme service issues the reply or makes corrections within the deadline laid down in no. 1 of the following article, accompanied by the mention that it is being carried out by legal decision or the decision of the AACS.
Broadcast of the reply or corrections
1 - The broadcast of the reply or correction is carried out twenty-four hours after reception of the respective text by the person in charge of the programme service in question, with the exception of the provisions of nos. 1 and 2 of the previous article.
2 - The reply or correction is broadcast for free during the same programme or, if this is not possible, at an equivalent broadcasting time.
3 - The reply or correction should be broadcast as many times as the programmes with the reference that gave rise to them were broadcast.
4 - The reply or correction is read by a speaker of the programme service in a format that ensures it is easily understood and may include other audio components whenever the reference that gave rise to them used similar techniques.
5 - The broadcast of the reply or correction may not be preceded nor followed by any comments whatsoever, with the exception of those necessary to indicate any inaccuracy or error, which may give rise to a new reply or make corrections, within the terms of nos. 1 and 2 of article 58.
Forms of liability
1 - In determining the forms of carrying out civil liability arising from deeds committed by the activity of radio broadcasting the general regulations are observed.
2 - Radio broadcasting operators reply in solidarity with the people responsible for the broadcast of pre-recorded programmes, with the exception of those broadcast in accordance with the rights to broadcasting time, political reply or reply and make corrections.
1 - Acts or behaviour that are detrimental to property protected by law, carried out by the activity of radio broadcasting, are punishable within the terms of the criminal law and the provisions of the present law.
2 - The person in charge mentioned in article 37. only answers criminally when he/she does not object, and may do so to the committees of the crimes mentioned in no. 1, by means of appropriate actions to avoid them, in which case the sanctionary penalties in the corresponding legal forms are applicable, reduced by a third in their limits.
3 - In the case of broadcasts made without consent, the person who makes the decision to broadcast the respective broadcast is answerable.
4 - The technicians at the service of radio broadcasting operators are not responsible for the broadcasts to which they provide their professional contribution, if their conscience of the criminal act is not demanded.
Illegal radio broadcasting activities
1 - The practice of radio broadcasting activities without the corresponding legal authorisation determines the punishment of the people responsible with up to three years imprisonment or with a fine of up to 320 days.
2 - Property used in the illegal practice of radio broadcasting activities is declared lost in favour of the State, without prejudice to the rights of third parties of good faith.
The person in charge of programming, or their substitute, becomes liable to qualified disobedience when:
a) They do not honour the court decision that orders the broadcast of the reply or make corrections, in accordance with the provisions of no. 6 of article 61.;
b) They do not promote the broadcast of legal decisions in the exact terms mentioned in article 76.;
c) They do not comply with the resolutions of the AACS regarding the exercise of the rights to broadcasting time, political reply, reply or corrections.
Assault against freedom of broadcasting and information
1 - Whosoever prevents or hinders the broadcast of programme services, apprehends or damages materials necessary for the exercise of the activity of radio broadcasting - apart from in cases stipulated by the law - and with the purpose of attacking the freedom of broadcasting or of information, is punishable with imprisonment of up to two years or with a fine of up to 240 days, if not subject to a more serious punishment within the terms of the penal law.
2 - The application of the fine stipulated in the previous number is without prejudice to the conduct of civil liability for the harm caused to the radio broadcasting operator.
3 - If the violator is a government agent or civil servant or public corporation and they practice the facts described in no. 1 while carrying out their functions, they are punishable with imprisonment of up to three years or with a fine of up to 320 days, if not subject to a more serious punishment within the terms of the criminal law.
The following constitute breaches, which are punishable with fines of :
a) Between 250,000$ and 2, 500,000$, for breach of the provisions of no. 4 of article 5., of No. 2 of article 12., of article 37., of no. 2 of article 41., of no. 3 of article 43., of no. 1 of article 77., breach of the provisions of the first part of no. 1 of article 53., as well as non-compliance with the deadline and omission of the mention stipulated in no. 6 of article 61.;
b) Between 750,000$ and 5,000,000$, for breach of the provisions of nos. 1 to 3 of article 38., of article 42., of nos. 1 and 2 of article 43., of nos. 2 to 5 of article 44., of no. 4 of article 52., of no. 1 of article 54., of no. 2 of article 57., of no. 1 of article 61., of article 62., as well as the exercise of the activity of radio broadcasting prior to payment of the fees mentioned in no. 1 of article 13., violations of the provisions of the second part of no. 1 and of no. 2 of article 53. and of the deadline stipulated in no. 1 of article 59.;
c) Between 2,000,000$ and 20,000,000$, for breach of the provisions of nos. 3 and 4 of article 7., of nos. 1 and 2 of article 19., of article 30., of nos. 1 and 2 of article 35., of articles 39. and 40., of no. 1 of article 41., of no. 3 of article 71., breach of the obligations to communicate mentioned in no. 2 of article 7. and no. 1 of article 18., refusal to grant the right stipulated in no. 1 of article 59., as well as violation of the maximum limits of broadcasting power stipulated in the respective technical licensing acts.
1 - Reiterated disrespect for the terms and conditions of the approved project, for exceeding limits of shareholdings in more than one operator, breach of the regulations on association of thematic programme services and non-compliance with the obligations relating to the production and broadcast of news services, as well as repeated non-compliance in the broadcast of the compulsory number of hours of broadcast or of their own programmes in cases not covered by the stipulations of paragraph d) of article 70., may give rise, depending on the seriousness of the violation, to the additional penalty of suspension of the licence or authorisation for the exercise of the activity for a period of up to three months.
2 - Breach of the provisions of no. 1 of article 35., punishable under the terms of paragraph c) of the previous article, may also give rise to the additional penalty of suspension of the broadcasting of the program service in which the practice of the violation is discovered, for a period of up to three months, except in the case of advertising, to which the additional penalties and cautionary measures stipulated in the Advertising Code will be applicable.
3 - Breach of the provisions of article 35., when committed during the exercise of the right to broadcasting time, and of no. 2 of article 53., envisaged in paragraph b) of the previous article, may also, depending on the seriousness of the violation, be punishable with the additional penalty of suspension of exercise of the same right for periods of between 3 and 12 months, with a minimum of six months in the case of reoccurrence, without prejudice to other penalties envisaged in the law.
4 - The enforcement of a fine for violation of the provisions of nos. 1 and 2 of article 19., of article 30., of nos.1 and 2 of article 35., of articles 39. and 40. and of no. 1 of article 41. may also give rise to the additional penalty of publicising the accusatory resolution, according to stipulations by the competent organisation.
5 - Litigious appeal of the application of the additional penalty envisaged in the previous numbers is suspended until the respective decision has been brought to judgement.
Revocal of the licences or authorisations
Revocal of the granted licences or authorisations is determined by the AACS when:
a) The licensed programme services do not start within the deadline stipulated in no. 1 of article 29. or broadcasts cease for a period of more than two months, except by duly justified authorisation, fortuity or because of force majeure;
b) The programme service is operated by an organisation that is different to the holder of the licence or authorisation;
c) Legal transactions that imply a change of control of the company holding the corresponding legal authorisation, without observation of the formalities mentioned in article 18. or before the stipulated deadline has been reached;
d) Chain broadcasts are carried out that are not authorised according to the present law;
e) There is reoccurrence of the behaviour that has determined the enforcement of the measure of suspending the licence or authorisation or, independently of the fact that gave rise to it, two suspension measures are enforced within a period of three years;
f) The radio broadcasting operator dies.
1 - The inspection of compliance with the provisions of this present law is the responsibility of the ICS and, in the matter of advertising, is also the responsibility of the Consumer Association, without prejudice to the competence of any other organisation legally authorised for the purpose.
2 - The inspection of the premises of broadcasting and re-broadcasting stations, the technical conditions of the broadcasts and of the protection of radio-electric reception of the same is the responsibility of the ICP, within the context of the applicable regulations.
3 - Radio broadcasting operators should facilitate the access of inspectors to all the premises, equipment, documents and other items necessary for the exercise of their activity.
Procedures for the breaches and enforcement of fines
1 - Procedures for the breaches is the responsibility of the organisation responsible for the enforcement of the corresponding fines, except for those relating to the infringement of articles 35., when committed by means of advertising broadcasts, and 44., which is the responsibility of the Consumer Institute.
2 - It is the responsibility of the Chairman of the ICS to enforce the fines and additional penalties envisaged in this present law, with the exception of those relating to breach of :
a) Articles 18., 19., 35., 37., 38. and 52. to 62., which are the responsibility of the AACS;
b) Article 35., when committed by means of advertising broadcasts, and of nos. 2,
3 and 5 of article 44., which are the responsibility of the fine-enforcing committee envisaged in the Advertising Code.
3 - 60% of the revenue from fines reverts to the State and 40% to the ICS, when it is their responsibility to enforce them, or 60% to the State, 20% to the inspecting organisation and 20% to the organisation responsible for proceeding with the breaches regarding violation of articles 35. - when committed by means of advertising broadcasts - and 44.
Special procedural clauses
Form of procedure
Legal procedures for criminal violations committed by the activity of radio broadcasting are governed by the provisions of the Penal Procedure Code and the complementary legislation, with the specialities resulting from the present law.
1 - The competent court to judge the crimes envisaged in this present law is that of the district in which the radio broadcasting operator has its headquarters or permanent branch.
2 - Exceptions to the provisions of the previous numbers are crimes committed against the good name, private life, or intellectual property of a person, the judgement of which is the competence of the court of the district in which the offended party resides.
3 - In the case of radio broadcasts by an organisation that is not licensed according to law, and when the defining criteria for competence according to no. 1. are not known, the competent court is the Judicial Court of the District of Lisbon.
System of proof
1 - For proof of the prerequisites of the exercise of the rights to reply or make corrections, and without prejudice to other means permitted by law, according to article 528. of the Code of Civil Procedures the interested party may request that the radio broadcasting operator be notified to present the recordings of the broadcast in question within the deadlines for the appeal.
2 - Apart from the item mentioned in the previous number, only documental proof provided with the initial request and with the appeal is allowed.
Broadcast of resolutions
By request of the Public Ministry or the offended party, and by means of a legal resolution which will stipulate the deadlines for the purpose, the ruling of sentences transited in rem judicatem for crimes committed by means of radio broadcasting activities, along with the identities of the parties, are broadcast on the programme service in which the crime was carried out.
Conservation of radio broadcasting heritage
Registers of public interest
1 - Radio operators should organise audio and music archives with the objective of conserving recordings of public interest.
2 - The concession and use of the recordings mentioned in the previous number are defined by joint administrative rule of the members of Government in charge of culture and Media, bearing in mind their historic, educational and cultural value for the community, and the requesting organisation is responsible for royalties.
Final and transitory clauses
Counting of broadcasting times
The people in charge of the radio broadcasting programme services will ensure the counting of the broadcasting time, political reply and reply or correction for the purposes of the present law, and will reveal the respective results to interested parties.
1 - The system resulting from the provisions of no. 3 of article 14. comes into force six months after the publication of the present law, and until that date the rules relating to the transfer of permits, stipulated in article 15. of Decree-Law no. 130/97, of 27th of May, within the context of the change of competence for authorisation of the same, introduced by the Law no. 43/98, of 6th of August, remain in force.
2 - The provisions of article 42. come into force six months after the publication of the present law, and until this date the system established in article 4. of Decree-Law no. 130/97, of 27th of May, remains in force.
3 - Administrative ruling no. 931/97, of 12th of September, remains in force until publication of the regulations mentioned in article 21.
1 - Law no. 87/88, of 30th of July, and Decree-Law no. 130/97, of 27th of May, and its respective alterations are hereby revoked.
2 - Administrative ruling no. 121/99, of 15th of February, remains in force, excepting the clauses that contradict the stipulations of this present law.
Approved on 21st of December 2000.
The President of the Assembly of the Republic, António de Almeida Santos.
Enacted on the 12th of February 2001.
It is hereby published The President of the Republic, JORGE SAMPAIO.
Countersigned on the 15th of February 2001. The Prime-Minister, António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres.