Viewing cable 06VILNIUS1068
Title: LITHUANIA SEEKS ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON SPECIAL 301

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06VILNIUS10682006-11-30 14:47:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXRO2837
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHVL #1068/01 3341447
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 301447Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0823
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 VILNIUS 001068 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/NB, EB/TPP/IPE (JBOGER) 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTR (JCGROVES) 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON ETRD KIPR PGOV LH
SUBJECT:  LITHUANIA SEEKS ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON SPECIAL 301 
INITIATIVE 
 
REF:  A) STATE 184046, B) Groves/Dunham 11/28 e-mail 
 
¶1. (U) This cable contains an action request.  Please see paragraph 
six. 
 
¶2. (U) Summary:  Post welcomes the opportunity to engage the new 
Lithuanian government -- whose cabinet is dealing with the Special 
301 process for the first time -- in a cooperative effort to improve 
Lithuania's intellectual property regime.  We passed ref A and B 
points on November 29 to the Ministry of Culture, the Customs 
Department, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  We also contacted 
two Lithuanian NGOs who defend intellectual property rights (IPR). 
All of our interlocutors expressed their willingness to engage 
constructively on ref points and provide data in support of their 
efforts.  End Summary. 
 
Ministry of Culture 
------------------- 
 
¶3. (SBU) Gerda Leonaviciene, Senior Specialist in the Ministry of 
Culture's Copyright Division (the GOL's lead institution on IPR 
matters), thanked us for the information, in particular the list of 
websites with pirated material hosted by Lithuanian websites (ref 
B).  She promised to pass it to the appropriate institutions and 
said she was surprised that the International Intellectual Property 
Alliance (IIPA) had not previously passed it to the GOL directly. 
She said that copyright holders in Lithuania currently have a 
voluntary "notification and takedown" agreement with the three major 
Internet service providers (ISPs) in Lithuania.  She also said that 
the GOL plans to issue a formal order this year that will implement 
the EU's E-Commerce Directive's "notification and takedown" 
procedures that will, in effect, institutionalize and expand the 
current voluntary system and obligate all of Lithuania's ISPs to 
adhere to its regulations. 
 
¶4. (SBU) Leonaviciene also told us that Lithuania's new copyright 
law entered into force on October 31.  This long-delayed law, she 
said, brings Lithuanian copyright law into harmony with all existing 
EU rules on copyright protection.  She also said that the EU has 
begun infringement proceedings against Lithuania because the GOL 
failed to implement the law on time (it was due last April), but 
that she hoped that the EU would now drop the infringement 
proceeding because Lithuania is now in full compliance. 
 
LATGA 
----- 
 
¶5. (SBU) We also passed ref B information to Lithuania's Copyright 
Protection Association (LATGA), which told us that it is generally 
satisfied with the current voluntary agreement and that ISPs 
generally take down 40-50 websites per year due to rightsholders' 
complaints.  LATGA told us that rightsholders in Lithuania also have 
a second option to fight piracy websites, saying that Lithuania's 
law on public information enables rightsholders to register 
complaints that result in the takedown of infringing websites. 
 
Customs Department 
------------------ 
 
¶6. (SBU) Daiva Niedvariene, Chief Inspector in the Customs 
Department's Violation Prevention Division, said that Lithuania's 
customs officials routinely cooperate and regularly share 
information with their Estonian, Latvian, and Polish counterparts. 
She asked for more specific information on the kinds of improvement 
Lithuania can make on information-sharing with neighboring 
countries.  (ACTION REQUEST:  Please provide specific 
recommendations, perhaps including "best practices" from other 
countries that we can convey to the GOL.) 
 
¶7. (SBU) Niedvariene also told us that customs officials regularly 
use their ex officio authority to seize infringing goods that enter 
Lithuania.  We asked her to provide data supporting this assertion. 
She said that the Customs Department would begin providing us with 
regular updates on detentions of counterfeit goods, including ex 
officio seizures. 
 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
--------------------------- 
 
¶8. (SBU) Raimondas Karoblis, Director of the MFA's Foreign Trade 
Policy Department, urged us to continue to work closely with the 
appropriate GOL institutions on this issue, with a view to enabling 
Lithuania's eventual removal from the Special 301 Watchlist.  He 
also provided us with statistics from the Lithuanian Music Industry 
Association's (LMIA) anti-piracy center, which works closely with 
the police and prosecutors to combat IPR piracy.  These statistics 
 
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indicate that LMIA, working with the police, searched 118 
shops/markets from January to July and seized 36,357 unlicensed 
products (DVDs, CDs, videocassettes, and video games). 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
¶9. (SBU) We appreciate the opportunity provided by reftel to launch 
a new offensive constructively with the GOL on IPR.  We will follow 
up by finding out what the GOL did with the information provided in 
ref B and by seeking regular updates on detentions.  Prime Minister 
Kirkilas, in power for only four months, has emphasized the 
importance of developing a knowledge-based economy and attracting 
more foreign investment into Lithuania.  Both of these tasks will 
require Lithuania to do a better job of protecting IPR, making this 
a particularly opportune time to engage the GOL. 
 
CLOUD