Turkey has been a party to the Berne Convention, the oldest international convention regulating copyright, since 1951. Under the Berne Convention and the Law on Intellectual and Artistic Works (the Copyright Act), there are no legal formalities regarding copyright registration. Work is protected on its creation with no formalities or ceremony. As a result, it is always advisable to register a work to ensure the effective enforcement of rights therein. There are a number of benefits to copyright registration in Turkey.

Regulatory requirement for phonogram and film producers

Despite the Copyright Act, the Regulation on the Record and Registry of Intellectual and Artistic Works 2006 stipulates that in order to exercise their economic rights and prevent the violation of their rights by third parties, phonogram producers that make the first fixation of sounds and producers that make the first fixation of films must record and register their rights to facilitate proof of ownership.

According to data published by the General Directorate of Copyrights, there were 7,412 registrations of cinematographic and musical works and video games in 2015 and 2016.

Through the registration of such works with the General Directorate of Copyrights, rights holders can apply for banderoles, which are used on licensed copies to prevent piracy.

Optional copyright registration

While the copyright registration of literary works, computer software (with the exclusion of video games) and works of fine art is not mandatory, 1,428 such works were registered in 2015 and 2016. The registration of such works also enables rights holders to apply for a banderole as an anti-piracy measure.

Copyright registration for customs monitoring

In addition to banderoles, registration certificates can be used to apply to Customs to monitor a copyright. The acceptance of a copyright recordal by Customs will trigger the monitoring of potentially pirated goods and the suspension of their release where appropriate.

Copyright registration as evidence of proof of ownership

Registration certificates of copyrighted works are also practical and useful tools to prove ownership and determine the context of such works in possible civil and criminal actions. These certificates are also used during copyright enforcement in case of infringement before the courts. As the framework for copyrighted works is clearly defined in the corresponding registration certificate, the examination will be carried out more effectively, which increases the chances of obtaining preventive or injunctive measures during such actions.

For further information on this topic please contact Okan Can, Ahmet Bekereci or Soley Oygucu at Deris IP Attorneys by telephone (+90 212 252 6122) or email (okan.can@deris.com, ahmet.bekereci@deris.com or soley.oygucu@deris.com). The Deris IP Attorneys website can be accessed at www.deris.com.tr.

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