DEVELOPMENTS IN COPYRIGHT PROTECTION IN LITHUANIA – LEVIES FOR PRIVATE COPYING ENHANCED AND A NEW MEASURE – BLOCKING OF INTERNET SITE CONTAINING ILLEGAL CONTENT INTRODUCEDadmin
EDITA IVANAUSKIENĖ, ATTORNEY AT LAW, PATENT PATTORNEY, EIIP
DEVELOPMENTS IN COPYRIGHT PROTECTION IN LITHUANIA – LEVIES FOR PRIVATE COPYING ENHANCED AND A NEW MEASURE – BLOCKING OF INTERNET SITE CONTAINING ILLEGAL CONTENT INTRODUCED
On 1 January 2019 the changes in payment of fair compensation for personal reproduction of works and related rights objects and for reprographic reproduction of works and from 1 April 2019 the new provisions on blocking access to the websites containing illegal content will enter into force in Lithuania. Please find the link to the adopted changes to Lithuania law on Copyright and Related Rights (the Law) here: https://www.e-tar.lt/portal/lt/legalAct/bb8d9430ebc611e88568e724760eeafa.
It seems that these are two main things that could bring direct benefit to authors, performers, audio producers, film producers and broadcasting organizations, i.e. increase of compensation for private reprographic reproduction of works and the reduction of illegal content on the Internet.
The Law extends the circle of persons who receive fair compensation for the private copying of works and objects of related rights in analogue and digital media. The Explanatory Memorandum of the Draft Law clarifies that at present such remuneration is paid to authors, performers, producers of phonograms and audiovisual works for the reproduction of audiovisual works and phonograms. Under the Law all the authors and the owners of related rights, including visual arts and literary works, should receive remuneration for private copying of works and related rights in analogue and digital media.
The Law also added new reprographic equipment to the list of reprographic equipment that is subject to the payment of fair compensation in order to increase the collection of compensatory remuneration for authors and copyright owners of literary and scientific works.
Further, as mentioned before the Law provides for a new legal tool – possibility to block internet domain name identifying a website by the Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission (the Commission). The Explanatory Memorandum of the Draft Law does not reveal why this institution has been chosen in the fight against piracy, it remains only to hope that this institution has sufficient capabilities and resources to carry out its functions. On the other hand, it is provided by the Law that a part of the fair compensation for private copying should be transferred to the Commission for these purposes.
The Commission will have the right, at the request of the rightholders or their authorized persons, or at the request of the collecting societies, to give Internet access service providers mandatory instructions to eliminate the possibility of accessing unauthorized publicly available copyrighted content by blocking the internet domain name identifying the website (until the infringing material is removed). In order for such a request to be processed by the Commission, the rightholders will have to prove that they exhausted non-judicial means to stop the public disclosure of copyrighted content on the internet. What is considered an out-of-court remedy the Law does not explain: whether it is a notification to the Internet access service provider in accordance with the Government Order (22 August 2007, Resolution No. 881) or it is sufficient to submit a claim to the website administrator and after its failure, the Commission may be addressed. The decision of the Commission should also be sanctioned by the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court. This should be a much quicker procedure than filing a civil claim on the same subject matter to the court.