The Bill on the Amendment of Certain Laws ("Bill") was brought to the attention of the Presidency of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on 16 November 2021. The Bill, which consists of 38 articles in total, envisaged making significant changes to several laws, including the Law on Intellectual and Artistic Works numbered 5846 ("Copyright Law"). The Bill was enacted by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on 21 December 2021, and published in the Official Gazette on 25 December 2021. You can access our legal alert concerning the Bill here.
The Bill, submitted to the Presidency of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on 16 November 2021, envisaged a provision that will completely amend Article 72 of the Copyright Law titled "2. Preparation Actions Which Aim at Circumventing Protective Programs." The said amendment was foreseen in Article 1 of the Bill, which aimed to include all works, performances, phonograms, productions and publications within the scope of Article 72 of the Copyright Law and to extend the scope of criminal liability in the relevant article. The Bill, which was enacted on 21 December 2021, was published in the Official Gazette on 25 December 2021. Thus, the radical change envisaged to be made in Article 72 of the Copyright Law within the scope of the Bill entered into force pursuant to Article 1 of Law No. 7346 on Amendment of Certain Laws ("Law No. 7346").
What alterations does Law No. 7346 envisage in Article 72 of the Copyright Law?
- Law No. 7346 replaced the heading of Article 72 of the Copyright Law, which was "2. Preparation Actions Which Aim at Circumventing Protective Programs," with the heading "2. Disabling Technological Measures" so that a more comprehensive heading is used in line with the altered content.
- Article 72 of the Copyright Law, which was previously provided only for computer programs and sanctioned preparatory actions aimed at rendering protective programs ineffective, was revised to cover all works, performances, phonograms, productions and broadcasts with Law No. 7346.
- While individuals carrying out acts aiming to "circumvent additional programs developed to prevent illegal reproduction of a computer program" are to be punished in accordance with Article 72 of the Copyright Law, Law No. 7346 also foresees punishment for individuals who commit certain acts aiming to:
"disable effective technological measures provided by means of protection method such as access control or encryption or reproduction control mechanism dedicated to control the use of works, performances, phonograms, productions and publications in order to protect the rights in the Copyright Law."
- Law No. 7346 extended the scope of the relevant article regulating the criminal liability of individuals who produce, put for sale, sell the program or technical equipment to disable the protective programs or keep them other than for personal use. Also included now are those who manufacture or import, distribute, sell, rent or hold the products and tools for the purposes of disabling the protective programs, and those who offer advertising, marketing, design or application services of products and tools.
- Law No. 7346 does not bring any alterations regarding the punishment foreseen for the perpetrators who commit these acts and preserves the existing punishment that stipulates "imprisonment from six months to two years" in Article 72 of the Copyright Law.
- Pursuant to the effective article of Law No. 7346, Article 1, which envisages significant changes in Article 72 of the Copyright Law, entered into force on 25 December 2021, the date when Law No. 7346 was published in the Official Gazette.
Law No. 7346 aims to redraw the boundaries of criminal liability by expanding the scope of the acts stipulated in Article 72 of the Copyright Law. Law No. 7346 ensured the inclusion of all works, performances, phonograms, productions and broadcasts in this article, which imposes sanctions on preparatory actions aimed at rendering protective programs provided for computer programs ineffective. Therefore, the scope of criminal liability and, simultaneously, the scope of protection, are expanded.
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.