WILMap: Lithuania

LEGISLATION

 
Law No. XII-1428on Cyber Security, December 11, 2014 
 
[The law established specific requirements applicable to public electronic communication and hosting service providers. The law grants jurisdiction to law enforcement entities to issue mandatory orders to the service providers to suspend provision of their services, to retain data collected during provision of services, in cases when they are used for criminal activities.]
 
Regulation on Mandatory Filtering Measures to be Used at Locations of Public Access to Internet, approved by the Government Resolution No. 463 on April 28, 2010.
 
[The Regulation requires all internet service providers who offer access to internet at public places to install mandatory filtering measures approved by the Information Society Development Committee under the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The legal basis for information filtering is the Law on the Protection of Minors Against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information, and measures are focused on filtering of information harmful for minors.]
 
Regulation on Denial of Access to Information which was Acquired, Created, Modified or Used Illegally, approved by the Government Resolution No. 881 on August 22, 2007
 
[(1) The Regulation provides for detailed procedure and steps to be followed by service providers in dealing with take down requests against illegal content.
 
(2) The service providers are required to forward the take down request to the service recipient within 4 working days and wait for the response. If response is not received, the service provider must deny access to the information. However, if the service recipient responds and disagrees with the take down request, the service provider must evaluate if disagreement is justified and then decide if to take down the requested information.
 
(3) The Regulation imposes an unusual obligation on the service provider to evaluate the justification of a take down request; however, the provider may apply to competent institution (the Information Society Development Committee under the Ministry of Transport and Communications) for clarification if there are doubts about legality of the information requested to be taken down.]
 
 
[The law implements the Ecommerce Directive 2000/31/EC transposing the provisions on liability of intermediaries (mere conduit, caching and hosting) (Articles 12 to 14) almost identically to the directive (Articles 12-14 of the law).
 
 
[The law implements the Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society. (1Article 78 of the law provides for the right of the rightholders to apply to court for an injunction against intermediaries whose services are used by a third party to infringe a copyright or related rights. (2) Intermediaries are defined as electronic communication service providers who transmit information provided by third parties, provide access to communication networks and/or store information.]

BILLS AND PENDING PROPOSALS

[There are currently no known new legislative proposals on the issue of intermediary liability.] 

DECISIONS

Superior Courts

Supreme Court of Lithuania, Civil Case No. 3K-3-49/2013, February 27, 2013
[defamation, no obligation to monitor, non-pecuniary damage]
 
[(1) Applicants sought the court to declare information disseminated on a website as false, offending honour and dignity and business reputation and to adjudge non-pecuniary damages.
 
(2) The court ruled that according to the Law on Information Society Services the intermediary has no obligation to monitor the information which he transmits or stores or to actively seek facts or circumstances indicating illegal activities, but after receiving information about the illegal activities or storing illegally acquired, created, modified, or used information, intermediaries are obliged to take active actions under the law. Since the defendant received the applicant’s notification about unlawful data being hosted at the service provider’s website, but acted passively and did not take any action to evaluate the report and thus contributed to the dissemination of the data, limitation of liability foreseen by the Law on Information Society Services does not apply. Therefore, the service provider is liable in accordance with general rules on civil liability.]
 
Supreme Court of Lithuania, Civil Case No. 3K-3-586/2012, December 21, 2012 
[active intermediary, passive intermediary, hosting provider, transmission, storage, take-down request]
 
[(1) The court explained that claim against an information society service provider for removal of illegal information can be made regardless of whether he is a passive intermediary (when his activity is of technical, automatic, and passive nature), or actively collects information about the service recipients. This distinction is relevant only for determining the liability of the service provider. If service provider plays an active role so that it has knowledge or control of the hosted data, such service provide can be held liable for dissemination of unlawful information, and limitation of liability which is applicable to hosting intermediaries, does not apply to such active service provider.
 
(2) The court also clarified that take down requests must be resolved even if the service recipient is unknown or does not participate in the proceedings.
 
(3) The obligation to remove transmitted and (or) stored illegal information cannot be identified as a defining the application of legal liability (civil, administrative, criminal) of a service provider for illegal information storage and dissemination. The request to remove illegal information from a web page is an independent legal remedy for non-pecuniary damage (i.e. non-contractual liability) thus fewer facts must to be met in order to adjust the claim and it does not depend on the application of civil liability of the information society service provider. When requiring to remove transmitted and (or) stored illegal information, circumstances that must to be proved are: the illegality (sensitivity) of the information, the fact of transmission and (or) storage and the fact that the defendant is an information society service provider].
 
Supreme Court of Lithuania, Civil Case No. 3K-3-479/2012, November 13, 2012
[defamation, hosting service provider, consumers' complaints, take-down]
 
[(1) The case focused on a take down request against a service provider that hosted a website dedicated to publishing consumers’ complaints. The claimant requested to disable publication of a complaint, which, according to claimant, was false. Although the website operator implemented a procedure, which allowed publication of complaints only after their approval, the court recognised the manager of the website to be a hosting service provider.
 
(2) The court decided that although the service provider refused to comply with the take down request, a claim in court for removal of unlawful information may be directed against the service provider even if service provider has no liability for the information published. It is for the court to make a final determination if the information is unlawful and order the claimant to remove it.]
 

Lower Courts

Vilnius Regional Court, Civil Case No. 2A-1049-577/2015, January 6, 2015; Civil Case No. 2A-1407-392/2015, May 4, 2015; 
[copyright, mere conduit, access provider, cable company, ISPs, peeep-to-peer]
 
[(1) In both cases, the claimant asked the court to find the communication service providers (cable network companies) liable for copyright infringement committed by its users, who downloaded infringing software via peer to peer networks.
 
(2) The court found that the respondent is an electronic communication service provider, who only transmits the electronic communication signals, does not control the content of data and therefore, enjoys an exemption from liability established by the Law on Information Society Services. The claim against the service provider was dismissed].
 
Kaunas Regional Court, Civil Case No. 2A-852-324/2012, May 24, 2012
[hosting provider, take-down request, notification, lack of response]
 
[The court decided that in cases when hosting service provider after receiving a take down request is not able to contact the user, who posted the content, the legal consequences should be equivalent to the case when service provider does not receive a reply form the user after notifying him of the received take down request. In such cases the service provider must disable access to the information in question].

OTHER RESOURCES

Jason H. Peterson, Lydia Segal, and Anthony Eonas, Global Cyber Intermediary Liability: A Legal & Cultural Strategy, 34 PACE L. REV. 586 (2014), http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol34/iss2/3. 
Karolis Vinciūnas, Civil Liability of Internet Service Providers for Transmitted Information: Problems and Perspectives of Legal Regulations, 1(8) Teisės apžvalga Law review 57-99 (2012), http://teisesapzvalga.vdu.lt/2012/1(8)/1(8)/3/

CONTRIBUTORS

Stasys Drazdauskas
Email: stasys.drazdauskas at borenius.lt

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