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Cablegate: Special 301: Update On Copyright/Trademark

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: SPECIAL 301: Update on Copyright/Trademark

REF: (A) Ankara 1652

(B) Sirotic/Urban Email 4/14/05


1. (SBU) The GOT reports a sharp rise in seizure of
pirated materials in 2004, along with other measures
supporting copyright protection. Our principal film
industry anti-piracy contact seems relatively upbeat
about IP protection, but trademark owners, publishers
and the software representative with whom we spoke are
much less sanguine. All are waiting to see whether the
new Culture and Tourism Minister will be as interested
in and supportive of intellectual property rights as his
predecessor. Several industry groups expressed interest
in collaborating with the USG on training programs. End

Copyright - Seizures Up Sharply in 2004

2. (U) The Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MOCT)
prepared a response (in Turkish) to the International
Intellectual Property Association (IIPA) Special 301
submission, which reports serious problems with book and
optical media piracy as well as with enforcement. The
response describes legislation, regulatory and
enforcement activity, and other efforts to improve IP
protection, including:

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-- Seizure of nearly 2.5 million books, CD/VCD/DVDs, and
video and tape cassettes in 2004, a 79 percent increase
on 2003. Over 2 million CDs and VCDs were confiscated
and 3824 suspects were arrested in 2844 raids in 2004.
Note: These figures are significantly higher than those
reported in the recently-issued Investor Advisory
Council (IAC) report (reftel). End Note.

-- "Sui generis" protection for databases;

-- New training seminars for the police and provincial
MOCT directorates;

-- Salary bonuses for law enforcement officers who work
overtime in the IPR inspection commissions in large

-- A joint project with the EU on "Implementation and
Efficient Enforcement of IPR Legislation," for which the
EU has allocated EUR2.7 million.

3. (U) MOCT reports that it is developing new
regulations on registration procedures and on
renting/lending copyright material.

Film Industry Rep Upbeat on GOT's Anti-Piracy Efforts
--------------------------------------------- --------

4. (U) The Director General of AMPEC, an Motion Picture
Association affiliate, told us April 7 that she was
pleased with recent developments in enforcement,
particularly a drop in the rate of film piracy in
Istanbul to about half, down from 80 percent. Although
the justice system has yet to implement prison sentences
(cases with a sentence of imprisonment are being
appealed), the courts have handed down stiff fines on
the order of 50,000 YTL (about USD 37,500). Based on
her participation in a recent IP conference in Antalya,
the Director General also related that prosecutors seem
much more interested in copyright enforcement than they
have been in the past. She added that the film and
music industries have begun to work more closely
together, with IFPI's Turkish affiliate Mu-YAP joining

Book Piracy Stubbornly High

5. (U) A U.K. Publishers' Association report (ref B)
issued in March acknowledged that legislation passed in
2004 helps the fight against piracy, but asserted that
publishers have not experienced any major diminution in
piracy (estimated at 50 percent of the market) and that
more enforcement is needed. Pearson Education, Oxford
University Press (OUP), Macmillan, and the Copyright
Holders Association of Literary and Scientific Works
(EDISAM) have conducted hundreds of raids and seizures
against pirates. The publishers have also launched
numerous court cases against pirates, some of which have
recently resulted in significant fines and, in one case,
a term of imprisonment (which may be appealed). The
publishers also criticized Turkey's banderole system,
designed to authenticate legitimate books, noting that
controls are insufficient to prevent the use of these
holograms on unauthorized books.

6. (SBU) In a meeting with Econoff April 7, OUP and
Edisam representatives echoed many of these points,
especially poor control over banderoles. They
maintained that some two million of them were "stolen"
recently, and predicted that many of them would
eventually be attached to unauthorized books. They also
point out that revenue from the (mandatory) sale of
banderoles is supposed to be dedicated to anti-piracy
efforts, but that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism
(MOCT) has not used these funds for this purpose.

BSA Rep on Software Piracy/Collaboration with USG
--------------------------------------------- ----

7. (U) The Business Software Alliance's Turkey
representative told us that rightholders had obtained
sizable fines against a number of large Turkish
corporations for unauthorized software use, and that
some companies were beginning to lobby the MOCT to water
down IP protection. Unlike piracy in other sectors, BSA
believes software piracy seems to be on the increase
based on the fact that software sales are not rising as
rapidly as hardware sales. BSA told us that it is
developing an anti-piracy compaign in cooperation with
AMPEC and the MOCT. BSA stated that it is also very
interested in working with the USG in providing training
and technical assistance. In particular, the BSA
representative expressed interest in interviewing a USG
copyright or enforcement expert as part of a study of
piracy which it intends to publish in the Turkish
business press.

8. (SBU) Film, publishing and software representatives
all expressed some doubts as to whether the new
Culture/Tourism Minister, and his new team, will be as
supportive of anti-piracy efforts as was his
predecessor. BSA was particularly concerned that
business complaints about fines for unauthorized
software use might get a sympathetic hearing in the

Trademark Owners: Cooperation With GOT Improving
--------------------------------------------- ---

9. (SBU) The Trademark Association (TMD) President told
Econoff April 7 that his organization has actively
pursued raids and lawsuits against counterfeiters,
especially in the clothing/footwear sectors, on behalf
of members, including U.S. companies. However, he
lamented the fact that counterfeiters seem often to have
been tipped off in advance of raids organized by TMD.
Although the Turkish Patent Institute (TPE) has not
worked efficiently and has even approved false trademark
applications filed by rivals of the mark owner, he said
that TPE had dramatically improved operations under its
current president. He characterized cooperation with
the Justice Ministry's European Integration Department
as very good. TMD complained that current law did not
give law enforcement authorities ex officio powers to
seize counterfeit goods, but suggested this would be
corrected in a forthcoming draft law. TMD expressed
interest in working with the USG on training law
enforcement personnel, especially customs officers.

TPE's Special 301 Submission

10. (U) In a written comment on the PhRMA Special 301
submission, the Turkish Patent Institute provided a
historical overview of patent legislation and statistics
on filing and approval. TPE claims that Turkey's legal
regime for patents exceeds TRIPS standards and is close
to full harmonization with EU legislation. Embassy
faxed a copy of the response to EB/TPP/MTA/IPE.

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