An ongoing dispute over music copyright in FYR Macedonia has resulted in an unusual situation with Junior Eurovision 2016. According to local media, when the JESC show is broadcast in FYR Macedonia, the audio of the Macedonian and Serbian songs will be muted.
This stems from a protest ban on playing local music on Macedonian radio and television. The ban has been put in place by the Musical Copyright Society of Macedonia (ZAMP) as a protest action against the Macedonian government granting a license to rival association SOKOM-MAP.
Broadcaster MRT had asked for an exemption from the ban for the broadcast of JESC, arguing that children should not be caught up in this adult drama.
But no response has been received from ZAMP, meaning that as it stands, the broadcaster will have to mute the audio of two songs. FYR Macedonia’s entry “Love Will Lead Our Way (Ljubovta ne vodi)” by Martija Stanojkovic will be silenced, as will the Serbian entry “U la la la” by Dunja Jelicic.
The ongoing ban on broadcasting local music has also affected Skopje Fest, the popular music festival which sometimes serves as the national final for Eurovision. The 2016 holding of the long-running festival has been cancelled, due to the uncertainty that the ZAMP music ban has caused.
There is also speculation that the ongoing dispute may affect FYR Macedonia at Eurovision 2017, particularly with MRT’s ability to select an entry for the competition.