Tuesday 22 June 2010

Linkomanija user lives to fight again

"First case against torrent search engine user fails", by Edita Ivanauskienė and Julius ZaleskisLideika (Petrauskas Valiunas ir partneriai LAWIN), was published last month in International Law Office. You can read it here. This article describes Lithuania's first-ever copyright infringement case against a user of a torrent search engine. This action, in which ANVA, the Lithuanian Anti-piracy Activities Association, sought a ruling of administrative liability against a user of Linkomanija, Lithuania's biggest torrent search engine, was apparently dismissed on what were mainly procedural grounds relating to the collection of evidence.

Actions against internet users for copyright infringement have been possible since Lithuania's Code of Administrative Infringements was amended last year, extending the scope of the earlier provisions which could only be invoked against infringements perpetrated for commercial purposes. In cooperation with the police, the association tracked the internet protocol addresses of 106 Linkomanija users who were downloading and seeding the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system. Based on this information, the police issued a statement of administrative infringement against one of the users.

The Kaunas Regional Court, referring to principles of legality and Supreme Administrative Court case law on the collection of evidence, ruled that there was no evidence that the association, as a public institution, was authorized to collect evidence independently, and no information had been provided as to whether the equipment used to track copyright and related rights infringements by internet users was officially certified. Accordingly the defendant's activity had not been shown to amount to an administrative infringement and the case was dismissed. This decision is under appeal.

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