The cornerstone of artist rights in Turkey is, Law No. 5846 on Intellectual and Artistic Works (“Law”). To clarify, it provides a robust framework for the protection, determination, and transfer of rights. This law extends its protective cover to all intellectual and artistic works. For instance, including but not limited to the spheres of science and literature, music, fine arts, and cinema. Moreover, it establishes the “author” as a universal term for creators of various forms of artistic works.

The moment an artistic work comes into being, the author’s right over the work is automatically established. In fact, the formal act of registering the work primarily serves to simplify the process of providing proof of ownership. Despite the right of the author being absolute, under the Law, artists can transfer rights to others through written agreements for assignment, licensing, and permission.

When the author decides to transfer their financial rights, there are several conditions. To clarify, such conditions determine the transfer relationship and its terms. For example, if the assignment contract is time-bound, it will cease upon the end of the specified period. Likewise, the accomplishment of the purpose of the assignment can automatically end the agreement. The legislation also allows the author the right to withdraw under certain conditions.

IDENTIFICATION OF THE ARTISTS RIGHTS: AUTHOR OWNERSHIP

Law No. 5846 defines the authorship of a work and the ownership of the rights. Accordingly, the act of creating a work is sufficient for a person to claim copyright. In other words, a formal declaration, application, or registration is not mandatory.

In line with Article 13/3 of Law, registration of a work does not imply ownership rights. However, it means convenience in proving the right ownership and monitoring the exploitation of financial rights. The Supreme Court of Appeals upholds the same view, stating that author rights are inherent and registration merely aids in providing proof.

Artists Rights: Rectification of Incorrect Registration

Despite an incorrect registration, the true author retains their rights over the work. However, to avoid any potential issues while proving ownership rights, Article 15/3 of the Law outlines the procedure for correcting irregular registration. Accordingly, the rightful owner can file a lawsuit before the Intellectual and Industrial Rights Civil Court.

Artists Rights: Author’s Rights in Intellectual and Artistic Works

Law No. 5846 segregates the author’s rights into two primary categories – financial and moral rights. However, a careful examination reveals an overlap and interdependence of these rights. Hence, it would be more accurate to view all the rights specified in the law as authorizations used under the scope of copyright.

Moral Rights fo the Author

These rights, regulated under Articles 14-19 of the Law, pertain to the author’s spiritual connection with their work. Moreover, they encompass the right to make the work available to the public, the right to declare authorship, the right to prevent modification of the work and rights against property owners or possessors where the work is embodied.

Financial Rights of the Author

The financial rights or in other words, monetary rights, are about the author’s financial and economic interests in the work. These rights include the right to process, reproduce, disseminate, represent, communicate to the public, and share and follow up.

Artists Rights: Copyrights in Turkey

In the context of Turkish law, the author’s moral and financial rights are interrelated, together forming an absolute right known as copyright, which is a crucial part of the legal regulations for intellectual and artistic works.

Types of Transferring the Author’s Financial Rights

According to Law, the author can exercise their moral and financial rights. However, the author can transfer their financial rights to another person via a written agreement. Moreover, there are three procedures for transferring the author’s financial rights – transfer, license, and permission procedures.

Transfer of Financial Rights

In this procedure, the transferred right exits the assets of the author and becomes an “absolute right” for the transferee. However, even after the transfer, the author’s moral rights and interests remain intact.

License Procedure

In this process, the financial rights remain with the author, but the “right to use the right” is transferred to the transferee.

Permission Procedure

In this procedure, the author authorizes the performing artist or phonogram producer to use their work. This grants the new creation an independent character that is solely the property of the authorized person.

Procedure for the Transfer of the Author’s Financial Rights

Article 52 of the Law mandates that contracts transferring financial rights must be in writing and should specify the rights separately. Moreover, in cases where the transferred rights are not explicitly stated, the presumption is that only the rights relevant to the purpose and subject matter of the transactions have been transferred.

Termination of the Agreement Regarding the Transferred Financial Rights

The termination of the transfer agreement can occur in various situations. If the contract is time-bound, it automatically terminates at the end of the agreed period. Alternatively, if the contract is purpose-based, it automatically ends once the purpose is achieved.

Moreover, the author may withdraw from the contract under certain conditions as per Article 58 of Law No. 5846. This right can only be exercised if the assignee’s misuse of the rights significantly harms the author’s interests. In cases where the author is at fault, the right of withdrawal is not available.

Conclusion

With their extensive experience and expertise in Intellectual Property and Art Law, Kaan Beylen and Ece Özlü Beylen of Turk Fortune have consistently provided invaluable assistance to clients navigating the complex landscape of artist rights in Turkey. Their comprehensive understanding of Law No. 5846 and its implications for authors ensures that their clients are fully aware of their rights and are capable of making informed decisions about their intellectual property. Whether it’s a matter of ensuring the correct registration of works, negotiating favorable terms for the transfer of financial rights, or enforcing their clients’ rights in the face of misuse, Kaan Beylen and Ece Özlü Beylen’s nuanced approach to law has repeatedly proven effective.

 

 

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KAAN BEYLEN

Founding Partner

For more information and your queries, you can always contact Kaan.

kaanbeylen@turkfortune.com

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