CD manufacturer fights piracy accusations

  • 2007-08-29
  • By Kimberly Kweder

VILNIUS - Baltic Optical Disc, the only manufacturer of audio and video discs in the Baltics, has rejected an Aug. 23 ruling by the Vilnius Regional Court that it must pay 1.2 million litas (348,000 euros) in damages to  music publishers for producing pirated CDs. 
The court ruled that BOD illegally produced over 205,000 copies of albums by Depeche Mode, Metallica, Pink Floyd and other artists.

BOD Director Vladas Sakalauskas has rejected the decision, and says his company will take the matter to Lithuania's Court of Appeals.
"We are confident in our fairness and we will seek justice, even appealing to the Supreme Court of Lithuania if needed," Sakalauskas said in a written statement to The Baltic Times.
"We ensured safety of intellectual property rights in all our work procedures and always followed only the highest business ethics and manufacturing standards," he added.
There is a contract for every music, movie or CD project made at BOD, company press representative Martynas Rusteika said.

"Companies contact us [BOD] and request X amount to be produced. There are different projects and different contracts for every project," Rusteika said.
If the fine is paid, the damages would be paid out to 14 companies. The largest fines would go to Universal Music Polska at 282,000 litas (81,589 euros)  and Sony BMG Music Entertainment at 246,700 litas, Kristina Selyte, the court chairman's deputy for public relations, told BNS.
BOD would also have to cover 20,000 litas in litigation costs.

The foreign music producers involved had originally asked for 1.8 million litas in damages.
Build in 2001 - 2002, the Baltic Optical Disc CD factory in Vilnius is one of the newest and modern in Eastern Europe. A new DVD production line was added there in May 2005, and in January 2006 the company opened a new factory in Tallinn to cover the Estonian and Scandinavian markets.
The Vilnius and Tallinn factories can each produce around 40 thousands discs per day.
Last year the company earned 39.3 million litas, according to its Web site.