What can be done in case of a Copyright Infringement?
When an infringement of copyrights takes place, a legal or criminal case can be filed.
Cases that Criminal Actions can be filed upon
Violating the immaterial, financial and related rights of the intellectual or artistic works which are protected under this Law by:
- Adapting, performing, reproducing, changing, distributing, communicating to the public by any kind of devices enabling the transmission of signs, sounds or images, or publishing a work, its performance, phonogram or production without a written permission granted by right owners.
- Putting up for sale, selling, distributing by renting or lending, or in any other way, buying for commercial purposes, importing or exporting, possessing or storing for non-personal use any works which are illegally adapted or reproduced.
- Putting a name to a work, which belongs to another person, as somebody’s own work.
- Citing from a work without mentioning the source.
- Making a public disclosure of the contents of a work which has not been publicized yet, without a permission by the right owners.
- Providing an inadequate, false or deceptive reference for a work.
- Reproducing, distributing, publishing or broadcasting a work, its performance, phonogram or a production using the name of another renowned person.
- Producing, offering to sell, selling, or possessing any additional programs and technical equipments produced in purpose of avoiding illegal reproduction of a computer program.
- Acting against the rules regarding banderoles, which are detailed in the Article 81 of The Law of Intellectual and Artistic Works.
In accordance with the Additional Article No. 4 of The Law, in case the rights of the authors and the related rights owners, granted by this Law, have been violated by service and content providers by means of the transmission of signs, sounds, and/or images including digital transmissions, a legal notice is sent upon the request of right owners. This notice requires that work to be removed from the content within three days. In case this request is not fulfilled, the service provider shall be demanded to stop giving service to that content provider upon an application to be made to the public prosecutor. In case the violation is not stopped, the action of the content provider constitutes a criminal offense.
The Procedure to be Followed In Criminal Case
The rightholder, the owners of the related or financial rights of the work or an authorized professional association makes an application to the prosecutor's office located where the violation or the results of the violation took place.
Upon this complaint, the public prosecutor starts the necessary procedures which may include the confiscation of the materials that are used in the criminal offence, in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Law No. 5271.
Furthermore, if it deemed necessary, the public prosecutor may also order a suspension of activity which is limited with the illegal reproduction of the work. However, this order should be submitted to the approval of the judge within 24 hours and it shall be inoperative unless approved by the judge in 24 hours.
In case of any threat of infringement of immaterial and financial rights;
- The owner of the work, whose permission was not obtained in the way the Article No. 68 of the Law of Intellectual and Artistic Works defines, may claim up to three times of the amount that could have been received had that contract been constructed, or a fair value to be determined in accordance to The Law.
Case for The Prevention of Infringement
Actions for Damages
Immaterial and material compensation can be demanded in legal cases. In cases such as not specifying the name of the owner of the work properly, or adapting the work, the compensation that can be demanded should be proportionate to the financial power of the parties and considering the severity of the incident.
Also a proportionate sum may be claimed for damages, and losses of profits related to the violation of financial rights by the acts of dissemination to public, reproduction, performance, and broadcasting.
In case of a violation of immaterial and financial rights, the profits obtained by the infringing party may also be claimed. In such case, any sum demanded in accordance with Article 68 shall be subtracted from that amount.
In the cases related to the Law of Intellectual and Artistic Works, since unfair acts are involved too, they are subject to periods of limitations of 1 to 10 years, in accordance with Article 60 of the Law of Obligations. If the violation of financial rights also constitutes a criminal offence, the longer period of limitation applies.
According to the general provisions, these lawsuits can be filed at the place where the violator is located or where the tortious act was done. In accordance with Article 66 of the Law of Intellectual and Artistic Works, it is also possible to file the case of infringement’s prevention and ceasation at the court where the suitor’s residence is located.