An extract from The Technology, Media and Telecommunications Review, 11th Edition

Media

i Restrictions on the provision of serviceCensorship

Censorship of public information is prohibited in Lithuania. In order to ensure freedom of information, the LPIP prohibits exerting pressure on the producer or disseminator of public information, their participant or a journalist, compelling them to present information in the media in an incorrect and biased manner. The producer, disseminator of public information, their participant or a journalist shall have the right to keep the confidentiality of the source of information and not to disclose it, except where a court orders such disclosure.

Restriction

The LPIP prohibits publication in the media of information that:

  1. incites to change the constitutional order of the Republic of Lithuania through the use of force;
  2. instigates attempts against the sovereignty of the Republic of Lithuania, its territorial integrity and political independence;
  3. spreads war propaganda, instigates war or hatred, ridicule, humiliation, instigates discrimination, violence, physical violent treatment of a group of people or a person belonging thereto on grounds of age, sex, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, race, nationality, citizenship, language, origin, social status, belief, convictions, views or religion;
  4. disseminates, promotes or advertises pornography or propagates or advertises sexual services and paraphilias;
  5. promotes or advertises addictions and narcotic or psychotropic substances;
  6. is slanderous and offensive to a person or degrades his or her honour and dignity; or
  7. violates the presumption of innocence and impedes the impartiality of judicial authorities.
Language requirements

The LPIP requires public information to be produced and disseminated in the state language. Radio or television programmes that are broadcast in a language other than Lithuanian must be translated into Lithuanian or shown with Lithuanian subtitles, except for educational, occasional, special, music and rebroadcast foreign radio or television programmes or parts of programmes as well as programmes produced by broadcasters of radio or television programmes intended for the ethnic minorities of Lithuania. Broadcasters of television programmes are prohibited from showing audiovisual works that have been translated from an official EU language into a non-EU language. When rebroadcasting television programmes, rebroadcasters or other persons providing services of dissemination of television programmes or individual programmes via the internet for Lithuanian users must give priority to the official EU languages.

EU content

Broadcasters of television programmes must, where possible, reserve more than half of the television programme time remaining after deducting the time allocated for news, sports events, games and advertising programmes, teletext services and teleshopping for European works. Broadcasters of television programmes must, where possible, reserve at least 10 per cent of the television programme time remaining after deducting the time allocated for news, sports events, games, advertising programmes, teletext services and teleshopping for European works created by independent producers not earlier than within the past five years.

Advertising restrictions

Advertising and audiovisual commercial communications must be decent, correct and readily recognisable. It is prohibited to publish in advertising and audiovisual commercial communications information that degrades human dignity, promotes any discrimination based on race, sex or ethnic origin, nationality, citizenship, religion or belief, disability or age, or contains manifestations or promotion of sexual orientation, is offensive to religious or political convictions or promotes behaviour prejudicial to health or safety or behaviour grossly prejudicial to the protection of the environment.

Advertising of tobacco and alcohol products and audiovisual commercial communications intended for advertising of tobacco and alcohol products is prohibited.

The total time of television advertising spots and teleshopping spots within a given hour must not exceed 20 per cent.

ii Internet-delivered video content

Besides television services, on-demand audiovisual media services are becoming increasingly popular. On-demand audiovisual media services do not require a licence, but do require a notification to be submitted to the RTC.

Most of the biggest TV channels in Lithuania have started their own video distribution services. Internet news portals are also including video publications as part of their service.