Turkey: A New Era For Internet Broadcasting Services: An Amendment To The Radio And Television Legislation Which Regulates Internet Broadcasts

The expected amendment to the Law No. 6112 on the Establishment and Broadcasting Services of Radio and Television Enterprises ("RT Law"), which aims to regulate radio, television and on-demand broadcasts provided through the internet, has entered into force as of March 28, 2018. Providers of radio, television and on-demand broadcasting services through the internet and platform operators transmitting these broadcasts will be required to obtain a license from the Radio and Television Supreme Council ("RTUK") as of this date.

The amendment was introduced within the Law No. 7103 on Amending the Tax Law, Certain Laws and Certain Decrees and it introduced a new article (Article 29/A) to the RT Law, titled "Broadcasting services through the internet." Prior to Article 29/A, the RT Law was not applicable to and the RTUK did not have supervisory authority over broadcasts through the internet. Prior to the amendment, the scope of the RT Law only covered services that were provided by conventional broadcasting entities directly to customers, such as radio or television channels operating under a license obtained from the RTUK.

Per the newly added Article 29/A of the RT Law, radio, television and on-demand broadcast services provided through the internet and the providers of these services (i.e., media service providers and platform operators) will be subject to the supervision and authority of the RTUK.

The RT Law defines "media service providers" as legal entities that have the editorial responsibility to choose content for radio, television and on-demand broadcast services and who determine the means and methods of regulating and providing these services. Media service providers are obliged to obtain broadcasting licenses from the RTUK in order to broadcast by means of terrestrial, satellite and cable transmissions. RT Law also defines "platform operators" as enterprises that transform multiple media services or multiple signals into a single service or signal, and enable their transmission through satellite, cable and similar networks, either in an encoded and/or decoded form that is directly accessible by consumers. Since both definitions omit any references to internet broadcasts and only refer to means of terrestrial, satellite or cable transmissions, the RTUK did not have any authority over broadcasts through the internet under the previous legislation.

According to the first paragraph of Article 29/A of the RT Law, even if the broadcast services are only provided through the internet, media service providers who are willing to offer their radio, television and on-demand broadcast services through the internet are obliged to obtain broadcasting licenses from the RTUK. Similarly, platform operators who wish to transmit these broadcasts are obliged to obtain broadcast transmission authorizations from the RTUK as well. Article 29/A also states that media service providers that hold a temporary broadcast permit and/or license from the RTUK (i.e., radio and television channels operating under a license and/or permit issued by the RTUK) may broadcast through the internet, as long as their broadcasts are in accordance with the RT Law and also in compliance with the Law No. 5651 on the Regulation of Broadcasts via the Internet and the Prevention of Crimes Committed through Such Broadcasts ("Law No. 5651"). In other words, the RTUK is now authorized to monitor such broadcasts and their content, and empowered to decide on measures and take various disciplinary actions, such as banning broadcasts or imposing monetary fines that are determined within the scope of RT Law.

The second paragraph of Article 29/A regulates that, if the RTUK determines that the broadcasting services of real persons or legal entities who do not hold a temporary broadcast permit and/or license or whose broadcasting license has been cancelled, are being transmitted through the internet, criminal judgeships of peace may order the removal and/or access ban of the relevant content upon the RTUK's request. While an earlier proposed version of the second paragraph stated that the decisions of the criminal judgeships of peace would be sent to the Access Providers Union for execution, the final and published version of Article 29/A refers to the Information and Communication Technologies Authority ("ICTA") as the executing authority instead of the Access Providers Union with respect to the implementation of such judicial decisions. Furthermore, criminal judgeships of peace are required to render their decisions within twenty-four hours at the latest, without holding a hearing. However, it should be noted that such decisions can still be appealed under the rules of the Turkish Code of Criminal Procedure. Finally, the article also refers to the third and fifth paragraphs of Article 8/A of the Law No. 5651, which requires access ban decisions to be applicable to specific URL addresses or limited to the part of a publication/broadcast that is in violation of the RT law (unless the access ban cannot be limited to the violating content for technical reasons or if banning the specific URL/publication/broadcast does not eliminate the violation, in which case the entire website may be access banned), and sets forth monetary fines for those who fail to comply with access ban and content removal decisions, respectively.

Another significant change that Article 29/A introduces is that the provision in question does not only target local broadcasters in Turkey, but also covers foreign media service providers and platform operators who target Turkish audiences, regardless of whether they provide their services and broadcasts in Turkish. The third paragraph of Article 29/A states that, even if the content or service provider is located in a foreign country, the foregoing principles and restrictions will be applicable. In other words, these rules and restrictions will be applicable to the transmission of broadcasting services by platform operators or by media service providers that are under the jurisdiction of a foreign country, if the RTUK determines that these broadcasts are in violation of the RT Law, of international treaties to which Turkey is a signatory, and of the assigned functions and responsibilities of the RTUK. Furthermore, they are also applicable to broadcasting institutions that (i) broadcast in Turkish through the internet in order to target a Turkish audience or (ii) whose broadcasts are in another language but aimed at Turkey and include commercial broadcasts. The new provision explicitly dictates that such entities are obliged to acquire a broadcasting license if they fall under the definition of media service operators, or a transmission authorization certificate if they fall under the definition of platform operators.

The fourth paragraph of Article 29/A clarifies certain concerns with respect to the scope of this regulation, and states that, notwithstanding the duties, powers and authorizations of the ICTA, (i) individual communications cannot be considered to fall within the scope of Article 29/A, (ii) platforms that are not dedicated to transmitting radio, television and on-demand broadcast services through the internet and real persons and legal entities who only provide hosting services to radio, television and on-demand broadcast services will not be considered as "platform operators" within the scope of this article.

The fifth and final paragraph of Article 29/A provides that the RTUK and the ICTA will jointly issue a regulation which will determine and specify the procedures and principles applicable to (i) the presentation of radio, television and on-demand broadcasting services through the internet, (ii) the transmission of such services, (iii) the broadcasting licenses for media service providers through the internet, (iv) the broadcasting transmission authorizations for platform operators, (v) the monitoring of broadcasts, and (vi) the implementation of Article 29/A.

In light of foregoing provisions of Article 29/A, it appears that the RTUK will now be entitled to intervene in certain online broadcasts. For the moment, the details of the practical implementation and interpretation of this new article is unknown, and the RTUK's further regulations and/or decisions on this matter in the forthcoming period might provide some clarity regarding the proper scope and reach of this provision. Nevertheless, entities that provide radio, television and on-demand broadcasting services through the internet will need to assess whether their services fall under this new provision and whether they will need to obtain a license from the RTUK to maintain their services targeting a Turkish audience, and they will have to adjust their broadcasts accordingly to avoid potential restrictions or penalties.


This article was first published in Legal Insights Quarterly by ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law in June 2018. A link to the full Legal Insight Quarterly may be found here.


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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Gokce Attorney Partnership
GSI Meridian
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Gokce Attorney Partnership
GSI Meridian
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions