Lithua­nian court or­ders clo­sure of por­tal broad­cast­ing Rus­sian TV con­tent

The Baltic Times - - FRONT PAGE - BNS/TBT Staff

A Lithua­nian court has in­structed Balti­jas Mediju Aliance (BMA), a com­pany reg­is­tered in Latvia, to dis­con­tinue un­law­ful broad­casts of Rus­sian tele­vi­sion pro­grams on the web­site tv­dom. tv. The plea against the com­pany’s op­er­a­tions was filed with the Vil­nius court by the Lithua­nian Ra­dio and Tele­vi­sion Com­mis­sion, which stated that the pro­vi­sion of ser­vices for Lithua­nian users on the web­site run counter to Lithua­nian laws, as the com­pany has not no­ti­fied the me­dia watch­dog about its op­er­a­tions.

Ed­mundas Vaiteku­nas, chair­man of the Ra­dio and Tele­vi­sion Com­mis­sion, said this was the first court rul­ing in Lithua­nia, or­der­ing a com­pany pro­vid­ing on­line tele­vi­sion re­broad­cast­ing ser­vices to dis­con­tinue its un­law­ful op­er­a­tions.

The watch­dog has re­peat­edly warned BMA about the obli­ga­tion, how­ever, the com­pany pro­vided ar­gu­men­ta­tion about the com­pany’s reg­is­tra­tion in Latvia, which made it sub­ject to Euro­pean Union (EU) law, not Lithua­nian ju­ris­dic­tion.

Vaiteku­nas said that providers of on­line tele­vi­sion have to pay copy­right taxes and are sub­ject to other le­gal mech­a­nisms af­ter no­ti­fi­ca­tion to the me­dia watch­dog.

Tv­ is cur­rently avail­able on­line, pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion in the Lithua­nian lan­guage and of­fer­ing Rus­sian-lan­guage con­tent of NTV Mir Lithua­nia, Ren TV Li­etuva, PBK Li­etuva, Karusel and Dom Kino.

Af­ter an­nex­a­tion of Crimea by Rus­sia, the Lithua­nian Ra­dio and Tele­vi­sion Com­mis­sion re­stricted broad­casts of five Rus­sian chan­nels, in­clud­ing chan­nels op­er­ated by BMA.

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