Turkey: Importance Of Professional Associations’ Merger (Joining) Under The Roof Of Federation

Last Updated: 28 January 2010
Article by Mehmet Kaan Koçali

At the point reached today it is realized that great and utmost efforts must be exercised for ensuring that Professional Associations should take much more effective role in the protection of property rights of Owners of the Works of Art and related Right Holders. Legislations and Regulations have granted various rights and tasks to the Professional Associations for protection of their members' rights. The Professional Associations are under the obligation to execute these rights and tasks, but for today certain professional associations, specifically those in the music sector, have been performing these works more intensively.

The Professional Associations in the music sector have been able to come together on some common grounds after efforts of many years and have shown a remarkable effort on illegal (pirate) utilization. Moreover, they have elected to monitor from opposite and then to make agreement for protection of rights of their members at all aspects nationwide at broadcasting organs and at places making mass music broadcasting.

In the cinema sector however such efforts have been yet at level of beginning, different methods have been exercised for struggle against pirate and other right seeking efforts required to be made however have been confined only within individual efforts. However, there is urgent need for making an arrangement that primarily the sector may seek remedy from one center (single hand), that right holders may control and follow up violation of rights from one center (single hand) and that while one right holder tried to get his right, others could not be overlooked.

For example, while cinema films have been played on a TV Channel without consent, if any one of the Professional Associations seeks remedy just for its own members, sometimes we may come across with such circumstances as to disregard the rights of right holders who are the member of another Professional Association. Or else in cases when pirated products are to be obtained, any Professional Association can initiate intervention only to defend rights of its own members.

A similar challenge however comes up in relation with users who want to pay rights of the right holders. Owing to the fact that several Professional Associations are available for a field of activity a corporation which wants to pay and grand rights of the right holders may have to be accountable to more than one professional associations. This situation has been revealing a lot of impediments and mishaps. Sometimes, all right holders could not be reached, and some times however right holders are unable to reach their rights. In distribution of prices received however likewise there comes up certain unjust and unfair attitudes. Sometimes we have been witnessing that sometimes higher prices than the required to be have been paid and sometimes lower prices than the required to be have been paid.

In order to eliminate such kind of challenges the primary action is to ensure that executive professional associations must act jointly. Both legally and conscientiously there should not be brought any impediments or restrictions more than those prescribed by laws. In cases when legal requirements are appropriate anybody and any corporations should be able to set up professional association. However, because of nature of the Professional Associations the concept of "albeit small it must be mine" has never been beneficial, on the contrary it has become harmful. Particularly political thought, citizenship or tradition of setting up of numerous small and ineffective societies on the same field of activity by separation from one another for the purpose of satisfaction of political thought, citizenship and personal ego which are frequently shown in creation of social benevolent societies in our Country, therefore, should not be implemented in the Professional Associations.

Should the Professional Associations act jointly they are capable of defending rights of their members perfectly and acting at a much more wider area, seeking remedy for rights more powerfully and effective at every field.

Another benefit and advantage in joint action by the Professional Associations however is that they are answerable to their beneficiaries (real or juristic person bodies) from one center and thus they are able to make much more true and effective agreements with real and juristic person bodies. Particularly real and juristic person bodies who wish to fulfill their obligations towards right holders will find before them a single and powerful addressees and thus they will pay correct sums of Money.

The best and true path for joint action by the Professional Associations is however that they should come together under an umbrella of federation. Professional Associations set up temporarily and only within the framework of goodwill have been both much more fragile and have been unable to create adequate impact towards outside. Managerial staffs and thoughts which are changing in time may also disperse and dissolve such kind of associations. Nevertheless associations that may be created under the name of a federation and even a confederation will be based on a legal ground and will have a corporate structure. Thus they will act much more true and powerful in their own structure and they will be able to show this power towards the outside. Structuring under a federation will also be beneficial to the 3rd Parties (Real and Juristic Person Bodies) that they will face with only one and single beneficiary.

By the premises heretofore made, it is necessary that arrangements pertaining to establishment of Federation and Confederation should be prepared in detail and meticulously in the works related with revisions and amendments to the Regulation carried out by the Ministry of Culture and that arrangements for encouragement of the implementation to that direction should be made.

Published in Medyakolik Newspaper, May 2008, issue no. 27

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