The usage of “Copyright” word for protection the legal rights of one’s works, designs, arts, books, musics and including all the products which comes from the person’s selfness. Copyright is a type of intellectual property. Copyright is the most important tool that ensures the legal protection of the tangible product that has emerged as a result of an idea.
Copyright protects expression, no ideas, procedures, methods, concepts, principles, or discoveries.
In order to be copyright for mention, products must be independent creations which simply means that the one creates it himself/herself. For creativity, the product in question must be unique and personal. It should not be copied from anywhere.
Everyone who created an original work is a copyright owner. However, copyright law allows ownership through “works made for hire,” which establishes that works created by an employee within the scope of employment are owned by the employer.
Also, copyright ownership can be through contracts and agreements.
COPYRIGHT REGISTRATION IN TURKEY
First of all, it should be noted that the registration of intellectual and artistic works rights is a different process from the registration process of trademarks and patents regulated in accordance with the Industrial Property Law No. 6769. While registration is compulsory for trademarks and patents, it is not compulsory for intellectual and artistic works except in a few exceptional cases. Therefore, copyright and copyright protection come together with intellectual and artistic works.
INTELLECTUAL AND ARTISTIC WORKS
The types of intellectual and artistic works are explained in article 2 of the Law on Intellectual and Artistic Works No. 5846 and its continuation. Scientific and literary works, musical works, works related to fine arts, cinema works, compilations with processing, computer games, software works are determined as intellectual and artistic works as main titles.
There is freedom of registration regarding the right on intellectual and artistic works. It is not necessary to register the work in order for the person to have the copyright on the work he has created. However, there is an optional registration and registration system in order to use the advantages such as clarity of right ownership and ease of proof provided by registration. Article 7 of the Regulation on the Registration and Registration of Intellectual and Artistic Works regulates the process of optional registration and registration, except for compulsory registration. The process can be carried out by applying to the General Directorate of Copyrights and Cinema under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Compulsory registration in the law of intellectual and artistic works is an exceptional situation and in which cases it will occur is regulated in Article 5 of the Regulation on the Registration and Registration of Intellectual and Artistic Works. Accordingly, it is obligatory for cinema works, musical works and computer games to be registered in the registry by passing the stages specified in the relevant article and obtaining the specified documents. At this point, registration ceases to be an advantageous tool that constitutes evidence of the existence of copyright, and becomes a legal obligation.
According to the relevant provisions, the owner of the work owns the copyright throughout his life. After his death, it continues for another 70 years. If the owner of the work is not a real person but a legal person, the protection period is 70 years, starting from the date the work becomes public.
PROTECTION OF COPYRIGHT
*The emergence of the tangible products with an intellectual basis,
*The resulting products must have a personality, a bond with the person who produced it,
*The products must be objectively shaped and perceptible,
A product that does not have all of the specified conditions cannot be accepted as a work in legal terms and cannot benefit from the protections provided by copyright.
The owner of the product retains the copyright throughout his/her life. After death, it continues for another 70 years. If the owner of the product is not a real person but a legal person, the protection period is 70 years, starting from the date the product becomes public.
-The moral rights of the work:
*Authorization to make the work public
*Authorization to determine the name of the author
*Right to forbid modifications to the work
*Rights of the author against the holder or possession of the work
-The financial rights of the work:
*Right to process the work
*Right to reproduce the work
*Right of distribute the work
*Right of representation the work
WHAT TO DO WHEN COPYRIGHTS HAVE BEEN INFRINGED
The violation can be terminated, the violation that will occur can be prevented, compensation can be provided if there is any damage caused, and if the violation contains a criminal element, the person who caused the violation or individuals can be provided with punishments.
The lawsuits that can be filed for copyright infringement (including both moral and financial rights) are as follows;
*Action for Prohibition of Infringement
*Action for Prevention of Infringement
*Action for Compensation
*Action for Declaratory of Copyright Owner
* Offence Related to Copyright
TRANSFER OF COPYRIGHTS AND USE OF COPYRIGHTED WORKS
The owner or heirs of the work can assign the financial rights granted to them by law, regardless of time, place, content, mutually or without demanding any action. The person who has the right to use the work can also transfer the relevant license under the same conditions by obtaining the approval of the owner or heirs of the work.
The assignment agreement is subject to certain conditions in accordance with the Law. These are the written contract and the savings regarding the financial rights and the clear indication of the assigned rights. The contract that does not comply with these conditions will be considered invalid.
It’s not possible to assign the moral rights related to the work.
THE POPULAR CASES ABOUT COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENTS
Copyright infrigements have become widespread all over the world with the effect of social media. One of the most popular cases on this topic is “Modern Dog Design vs. Target Corporation” case.
Seattle design firm Modern Dog utilized a series of sketches of dogs in their compendium put out by Chronicle Books in 2008. The firm alleges that illustrations from that design have been used in a T-shirt produced by Disney/Target for sale, and filed a lawsuit in 2011. The outcome of the lawsuit granted Modern Dog broad copyright protection for all twenty-six-dog graphics.
And another one popular case is “Rogers vs. Koons”.
Photographer Art Rogers shot a photograph of a couple holding a line of puppies in a row and sold it for use in greeting cards and etc. Internationally renowned artist Jeff Koons in the process of creating an exhibit on the banality of everyday items, ran across Rogers’ photograph and used it to create a set of statues based on the image.
Koons made a significant profit with this work. Upon discovering the copy, Rogers sued Koons for copyright.
The court found the similarities between the 2 images too close, and that a “typical person” would be able to recognize the copy. Koon’s defense was rejected under the argument that he could have used a more generic source to make the same statement without copying Rogers’ work. Koons was forced to pay a monetary settlement to Rogers.
In the light of the summary information about copyrights, you should get legal help from your lawyer if you encounter such situations. Otherwise, the slightest deficiency may lead to prolongation of the legal process and perhaps loss of rights. Procedures related to legal advisor support can be carried out much faster and mistakes can be avoided .
Lawyer Busem Erdogan Iskurt
Lawyer Hüseyin Acar