A movie or a television film consists of many elements. On one
side; there are elements which grant copyright on the film such as
scenario, dialogue, director and original film soundtrack and these
may be deemed as basic elements of a film. On the other side; there
are elements which are mostly related to services and do not grant
copyright on the film such as camera, light and film crew. Post
production process should also be considered in this technical
context. Also there are some other film elements which are more
ambiguous in terms of copyright and authorship.
It is possible to mention about elements which provide a basis
to an element of the film but not deemed as direct elements. As an
example, if the scenario is an adaptation of a novel or a story,
scenario will be accepted as a derivative work since it is based on
such novel or story. Therefore, relevant novel or story should be
taken into consideration as an indirect element because it is
possible for novel's author to cease distribution of the film
unless a license has been duly granted from the author.
In this context, evaluation of film elements and relevant rights
under Turkish Copyright Law becomes more of an important issue.
This evaluation shall determine which elements will grant author
rights on the film, which of them will need to be licensed, which
of them are technical elements and finally which agreements should
Using Other Works in a Film
Although not directly granting authorship rights on a film,
elements which are "deemed as an individual work" may be
used in a film. For instance; can we use a poem of a famous poet in
a character's speech or can we play a song as the background
music in a film? It should be stated that license agreements are a
must in order to use these independent works in a film.
There is another agreement group which is confusing at first
glance. For example, what is the position of the film's leading
actor or other actors against copyright law? If well-known voices
will be used for dubbing, what would be the rights of these voice
artists? Amendments on Turkish Law on Intellectual and Artistic
Works made in 2001-2004, may be interpreted in different ways. What
an actor does is to act his/her role according to the scenario and
the director's directives. It is beyond dispute that the Law
does not accept actors as "one of the authors of the
Film". On the other hand, there is no explicit provision of
Law regulating the status of film's actors. Disputes mostly
focus on the question if actors and voice artists are accepted as a
'performer', or in other words, do they have neighboring
rights in the film? In this respect, agreements which will be
executed with actors should be drafted in accordance with these
interpretations and considerations.
Finally, last group is the agreements executed with assistant
and co-directors. It is crucial to have agreements with artists who
add value to film's artistry such as the art director or the
director of photography. In spite of the fact that the Law excludes
these directors from the scope of authors of the film, relevant
agreements should be drafted considering their major artistic
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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On 8 September 2016 (C-160/15), the CJEU ruled that the posting of a hyperlink to copyright-protected works located on another website does not constitute copyright infringement when the link poster does not seek financial gain.
The chapter on the UK summarises the IP court and litigation system in the UK, recent developments in relation to IP law and practice, the forms and availability of IP protection and trends and outlook in the IP sphere.
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