The New Turkish Copyright Law: Confused and Draconian

The New Turkish Copyright Law: Confused and Draconian

The new copyright bill drafted by Directorate General of Copyright (THGM) is ready to be presented to the EU delegates on September 20, and will be taken to the Parliament in October, announced the Culture Minister Ertuğrul Günay. “Unauthorized downloading and sharing of music, movies, and books will of course have consequences,” said the minister, hinting that the new draft places harsher penalties on the user than previously reported.

According to Milliyet, THGM General Director Dr. Abdurrahman Çelik reasserted his love for the French HADOPI law in conjunction with the drafted bill. The controversial HADOPI has all but failed in its homeland, and is seen as an inefficient money pit even by the European anti-piracy lobby. “The error of HADOPI was to focus on the penalty,” said Pierre Lescure, head of the commission Future of Piracy, “if one starts from the penalty, it will fail.”

Dr. Çelik, in direct contradiction to France’s findings from the bumpy ride of HADOPI, favors the intimidations, and starts with the warning that “after three strikes… those who resume illegal sharing will be fined TRY1-50k.” This is a staggering sum for “the 18-24-year-olds,” who, according to THGM, “are the heaviest sharers of film and music online.” In the end, the director hopes that the warnings served after the first two strikes will alert the parents of the users and render the penalty unnecessary, since “when this system was applied in France, 95% of perpetrators didn’t recommit illegal sharing.” It is somewhat confusing how parents will factor into the acts of legally adult users, but it is common knowledge that HADOPI owes its supposed 95% mark to pirates’ employment of alternative methods to avoid three strikes.

More cryptic and worrisome developments to the draft include giving full authority to prosecutors to enable swift legal action, spending 10% of the fines collected to subsidize the living expenses of retired artists, and somehow punishing automobile drivers for compilation albums found on their vehicles when pulled over. What the extent of the prosecutors’ full authority will be, how the state will determine who are legally entitled to be artists and what their needs are, and with what authority traffic cops will search for and confiscate digital data are among the most pressing questions raised by the statement.

The directorate’s plan still fails to explain the proposed methods to monitor and detect the acts of piracy on multiple platforms—which include highly sensitive platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail inbox—without infringing on privacy, and how the blame will finally be assigned. The clumsy reference to “robot software” only helps to increase worry, as the government’s sympathy to invasive tracking tools such as Phorm are well known.

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