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Copyright © Media Law International 2018. All Rights Reserved.

Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

Expansion of Polish television coverage in south-eastern Lithuania is part of the country’s continued efforts to counter “Russian disinformation”.


Free-to-air channels TVP Info, Kino Polska and Kino Polska Muzyka have been made available to Polish viewers in Lithuania from February 2018 as part of government aims to counterbalance propaganda.


In September last year, the Lithuanian Ministry for Transport and Communications announced it

would purchase rebroadcasting services in districts of Vilnius, Salcininkai and Svencionys as an alternative to Kremlin-controlled media.


Over the past year the media market has been part of an “information war” that led to the suspension of RTR Planeta, a Russian language channel, for three months.

In February last year, the European Commission ruled that the Lithuanian regulator’s decision to suspend the retransmission of RTR Planeta is compatible with EU law.


The decision was reached after the Commission assessed measures taken by Lithuania based on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, which prohibits hate speech.


In other developments, market participants say foreign OTT services have an unfair regulatory advantage over telco operators in CEE markets, and call for streamlined regulation.

 


LITHUANIA

TIER 1

Sorainen handles a full spectrum of matters connected with media sector cases, inducing tax and IT services, project financing and employment matters. Head of division Stasys Drazdauskas has more than a decade of experience that includes media-related dispute resolution, arbitration and advice on data protection. The firm is appointed by leading media companies including Google, Skype, Modern Times Group and Nordic Gaming.


TGS Baltic has high market visibility, matched by its extensive experience. Managed by Gediminas Lisauskas, the team advises on licensing, regulation, advertising and intellectual property related to broadcasting. In representative work, the firm assisted a leading international entertainment broadcasting group with one of the biggest disputes over the alleged infringement of authors’ rights in Lithuania. In other work the team advised the BBC on a multi-million film finance project.  


Ellex Valiunas has a long-standing focus on the media and entertainment industries. Known for its high profile client base, the firm handles complex commercial disputes, advises on non-competition agreements and assists with the sale of television and radio stations. Key partners include Vytautas Mizaras and Jaunius Gumbis whose work involve IP and IT law. In highlighted work the team represented leading Lithuanian basketball players in a complex multi-jurisdictional dispute.


TIER 2

Cobalt has vast involvement in regulatory aspects of media sector cases. The team advises on regulatory frameworks of electronic communications and broadcasting. Lawyers also assist with copyright, privacy, licensing and data protection. Irmantas Norkus, who manages the practice, has 15 years of experience advising high-profile clients. The firm’s clients include radio, television and print media companies.


Glimstedt assists media and telecoms operators with online defamation, advertising and e-commerce. The team drafts privacy policies, internal corporate documentation relation to technology, data protection and planning strategies. Other areas of work include advice on juridical and extra-judicial settlements of disputes. Led by litigation specialist Egidijus BernotasEgidijus Bernotas, the team handles cross-border regulatory issues and acts for institutional investors.


Primus is active in multiple cases relating to broadcasting. The firm is appointed by a number of Estonian radio and television broadcasting companies in relation to licensing, operation of stations, IP matters and dispute resolution. Led by Gediminas Pranevičius, the team acted for Estonian cable operator Starman in negotiations with television network operator Levira. The case involved the establishment of a digital terrestrial television network.


TIER 3

AAA Laws media work stems from its focus on intellectual property and technology. Managing partner Otilija Klimaitienė leads the team in its work on intellectual property management and protection, advice on author’s rights and defense of breached rights. The team also handles online disputes, data protection and the regulation of e-commerce and electronic advertising.


The media and communications team at Eversheds Saladžius advises on national and EU regulatory compliance and notably on convergence in telecommunications, broadcasting and online segments. Clients include a US-based data communications distributor and a British television quiz producer.



Ranking and editorials

TIER 1

Sorainen

TGS Baltic

Ellex Valiunas


TIER 2

Cobalt

Glimstedt   

Primus

Triniti

Vilgerts


TIER 3

AAA Law

Leadell Balčiūnas & Grajauskas

Eversheds Saladžius

Juridicon  

Venckutė & Karnickas


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