Lithuania’s Media Watchdog Issues First-Ever ‘Fines’ to Torrenting Movie Pirates

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Since the summer, the Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania (LRTK) has had the legal authority to fine online pirates. This week, the media watchdog announced that it has used its newly gained power to fine three users of popular private torrent site, which appears to be actively monitored.

eurosTracking pirates isn’t always possible. Outsiders can’t easily see who uses a pirate streaming site, for example.

Tracking BitTorrent pirates is easier, but not straightforward when the largest torrent site in the country,, is a private community. The torrent site is relatively unknown in most parts of the world but it’s a local legend. LinkoManija has been around for more than two decades and continues to survive.


Although the torrent site is not openly accessible, many Lithuanians are members, as evidenced by the fact that it’s one of the most visited sites in the country. The site’s members include some piracy investigators too, it appears.

Watchdog Fines LinkoManija Users

This week, media watchdog LRTK announced that it had fined three LinkoManija users. The people in question were tracked down on July 27, presumably by their IP-addresses. All three shared a copy of the locally produced film “Tu Mano Deimantas“.

LRTK says this is the first time it has issued administrative fines for copyright violations carried out by individual pirates. These fines are presumably directed at the Internet subscribers associated with the pirating IP addresses.

Under the updated law, the consumer watchdog can fine online pirates up to 600 euros per offense. In this case, the three LinkoManija users were fined 140 euros each.

The scale of the fines is relatively mild and may not stop the most determined pirates. However, the authorities likely hope that by showing that people can indeed get caught, that will act as a deterrent. Meanwhile, the LinkoManija website remains up and running, as it has done since 2003.


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