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In 2013 a Ministerial Order passed the Schedule of Programmes for Protection of Creative Activity, Authors and Related Rights.

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Lithuania/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.7 Copyright provisions

The state policy in the field of copyright and related rights is implemented by the Ministry of Culture, which co-ordinates protection of the above rights in line with its competence. Copyright of Lithuanian and foreign authors is administered by the agency for Lithuanian Author's Copyright Protection Association (LATGA-A) founded in 1991. In 1999, the Association of Rights Related to Copyright (AGATA) was established with a view to administering the related rights of performers and producers of phonograms. The sale of blank audio and videotapes remains tax-free.

The Law on Authors and Related Rights was adopted in 1999 (amended 2003; 2006). It defines the system of protection and monitoring of authors and neighbouring rights and the responsibilities of respective institutions. The Law on Authors and Related Rights complies with the requirements of international law and ensures such protection of performers and producers of phonograms as are in effect in other European states.   

In 2006, the Lithuanian Parliament adopted amendments to the Law on Copyright and Related Rights. These amendments were crucially important for Lithuania's audiovisual sector and are particularly required for the regulation of copyright and related rights in the presentation of the audiovisual works via new media services, e.g. mobile phones, internet, etc.. There have been some instances in Lithuania, where an entire programme or a part of it was broadcast on the Internet in exchange for payment without the consent of, or agreement with, the broadcaster. The amendments were made with the aim of harmonising its provisions with EU requirements, namely the Directive 2001/84/EC on resale rights and Directive 2004/48/EC on enforcement of intellectual property rights.

The new amendments lay down the rules for the distribution of recordings of broadcasts after the first sale or other kinds of transfer of the ownership rights of the broadcast recordings. The new provisions of the Law foresees that the exclusive right to distribute recordings of broadcasts or their copies is exhausted in the territory of the European Economic Area in respect of those recordings or copies, which are sold by the broadcaster or its successor in title, or under the authorisation of any of these, and which are lawfully released into circulation in the territory of the European Economic Area.

The law was also supplemented with a new provision regarding an author's non-property rights to computer programmes and electronic data. The provision provides that the above mentioned rights may not be used in such a way as to unreasonably constrain a holder's property rights to computer programmes and data, including the right to adapt, change and distribute these works.

For the purpose of protecting the author's interests, the Law provides that any action by a person, holding the author's economic rights, shall not violate the author's dignity and reputation.

In 2009, there were several copyright administration agencies in Lithuania: 

  • Author's Copyright Protection Association (LATGA-A);
  • Lithuanian Agency of Related Rights (AGATA, established in 1999);
  • Danish Association NCB Branch "NCB Lietuva" (Copyright Bureau of Nordic Countries, established in 2006; administers rights of reproduction on the internet and records); 
  • Association of Authors' of Audiovisual Production Copyright (AVAKA, established in 2008); and
  • Association of Music Authors NATA (composers, arrangers, texts authors; established in 2012).

The latter association was established as opposition to LATGA-A. The establishment of the Association accompanied intensive debates. Founders of NATA suspected that funding distribution is not transparent and administrative expenses of LATGA-A are exaggerated. The Association promised new members an increase in funding and committed to collectively administer musical authors' copyright.

In 2013 by the order of the Minister of Culture the Schedule of Programmes for Protection of Creative Activity, Authors and Related Rights was passed. The programme foresees the criteria of financing artistic activity, allowing 30% of the total Programme budget for creative projects and 70% for Authors and Related Rights protection projects.

Chapter published: 28-11-2014

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