Cablegate: Strengthened Ipr Law On the Way

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Strengthened IPR Law On The Way

Ref: 2003 Ankara 7792 and previous

Sensitive But Unclassified. Please handle accordingly.


1. (SBU) Culture Ministry Copyrights Deputy Director General
Gunay Gormez told us the GOT was moving ahead with new anti-
piracy legislation, which the Ministry submitted to the
Council of Ministers last week. Gormez expected the
Parliament to pass the legislation soon and without changes.
Gormez said the legislation would ban street sales of all
copyright products and authorize all law enforcement units
to make seizures. Gormez told us the industry, having
contributed to the preparation of the legislation, was fully
content with it. However, one film industry representative
told us that some provisions, including reduced penalties,
were not helpful. End Summary.

2. (U) In a January 29 meeting, Culture Ministry Copyrights
Deputy Director General Gunay Gormez and Copyrights Expert
Ozlem Abacioglu briefed Econoff and Econ Specialist about
the status of draft anti-piracy legislation. Gormez said
the Culture Minister was personally interested in the
legislation, and had recently sent it to the Prime Ministry
for interagency clearances. Gormez expects the Prime
Ministry to submit the bill to Parliament quickly, with a
vote likely in coming weeks.

3. (U) Gormez said this was a model law addressing all the
deficiencies in the previous legislation. The draft law
would ban street sales of both pirated and legitimate
copyright material. It also authorizes all law enforcement
agencies to enforce this legislation; currently, only the
police force has this power. Gormez said another important
provision is reduced penalties for piracy. Gormez explained
that the penalties in the existing legislation are so severe
that judges have avoided applying the copyright law. The
new legislation imposes a TL 5 to 50 billion (USD 3,500 to
35,000) cash penalty or 3 months to 2 years imprisonment or
both for the street sale of pirated material. The
legislation also imposes a TL 3 billion (USD 2,000) cash
penalty on the street sale of legitimate copyright products
with banderoles. The Culture Ministry would be authorized
to collect any copyright material sold on the streets. The
existing legislation imposes a TL 50 to 150 billion (USD
35,000 to 110,000) cash penalty and 4 to 6 years of
imprisonment for copyright violations, and does not address
street sales of legitimate copyright products with

4. (U) Gormez said the intellectual property industries and
the collective societies were fully content with the new
legislation. Gormez said the hotel and restaurant industries
had problems with the earlier version of the draft
legislation, which called for a compulsory arbitration and
mediation mechanism for tariff/royalty disputes. Taking
their input into account, the Ministry introduced a
voluntary mediation mechanism in the new draft. A Mediation
Board with five members (one from the Culture Ministry, two
from the Competition Authority, one from the users and one
from the related collective society) will be established to
resolve disputes, upon demand from users.

5. (U) Gormez said the new legislation also addressed
internet copyright violations. Gormez told us the new
legislation holds information content providers and internet
service providers responsible for the internet use of
copyright material. In case of a copyright violation, the
rightholder will be required to warn the content provider to
stop display of the material on the internet. If the
content provider fails to take action, the rightholder will
then apply to the prosecutor's office with a demand for the
service provider to cut the content provider's service.
Gormez stressed that the Ministry took the U.S. Digital
Millennium Copyright Act as a model in preparing this
legislation and thought the new measures would address most
copyright violations on the internet.

6. (SBU) Representatives of copyright-based industries have
told us that the Culture Ministry has made a real effort to
consult with them on the draft law, but not all would agree
with Gormez' assertion that they are completely happy with
all the bill's provisions. Nilufer Sapancilar, Director
General of AMPEC (representing some U.S. motion picture
companies), opined that the draft law was generally good,
with the exception of provisions reducing criminal
penalties. AMPEC is also wary of some changes in the
enforcement structure, such as the possibility of a
diminished role for the provincial inspection commissions.

© Scoop Media

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