Latvian media watchdog clamps down on TV piracy

The Latvian media watchdog has launched sweeping inspections to detect online channels providing illegal television content in the Baltic country, representatives of the National Electronic Mass Media Council informed Thursday.

This week, the council started administrative proceedings over violations discovered at edem.tv, an unlicensed website illegally providing users with access to 460 TV channels.

The provider had been distributing TV content without the necessary rebroadcasting license, which is issued by the council, and thus violated the provisions of the Latvian law on electronic mass media.

If the TV pirates fail to comply with the watchdog’s order to stop the broadcasts, the National Electronic Mass Media Council will exercise its right to “block access to the unlicensed websites rebroadcasting audiovisual programs for up to six months”, the council’s representatives said.

“We have launched sweeping inspections of internet sites to detect the illegal channels that spread illegal content in Latvia and often undermine Latvia’s media environment,” said Ivars Abolins, the council’s chairman.