Lithuania's Internet suppliers to appeal against court ruling to block linkomanija.net

Following an obligation to block access to file sharing website linkomanija.net, Lithuania's largest Internet suppliers intend to file an appeal against the court ruling to avoid a precedent of blocking the spread of information online.

"The court ruling did not come as a surprise, it was one of the possibilities. We are currently analysing the ruling and it is very likely that we will take it to a court of higher instance, as the dispute is difficult, the case can set a precedent and have an effect on content blocking online. This includes possible restriction of freedom of expression and speech," Audrius Stasiulaitis, spokesman for Lithuania's television, Internet and mobile communications provider Telia Lietuva, said in a comment to BNS.

On Monday, a Vilnius court satisfied the plea of copyright association LATGA and instructed Internet suppliers Telia Lietuva, Cgates, Bitė Lietuva, Init, Lithuanian Radio and Television Center (Telecentras), Balticum TV, Penkių Kontinentų Komunikacijų Centras and Splius to block access to the portal linkomanija.net.

"We truly respect copyright and authors' right of defending their violated interests in court, however, we still think that the case did not answer many legal and procedural questions that the defending party raised during the course of the hearing, and assessment of some aspects, in our opinion, is questionable," Remigijus Šeris, CEO at Telecentras, said in a comment to BNS Lithuania.

He also admitted that the court ruling could formulate a practice of restricting the freedom of information spread online. Seris' opinion was seconded by the Penkių Kontinentų Komunikacijų Centras, which operates under the trademark Skynet. Virginijus Jurgelevičius, CEO at Balticum TV Internet and television supplier, told BNS he disagreed that the court ruling only applied to the few bigger suppliers of the Internet service.

The Vilnius court's ruling can be appealed to the Lithuanian Court of Appeals within 30 days.

Source: BNS
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