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Copyright in Radio and Television Broadcasts

Copyright in Radio and Television Broadcasts

The Law governing the copyright of radio and television broadcasts in the TRNC is the Law No: 39/1997 regulating the procedures on how to start a public and private radio and television and on broadcasting. This Law provides for the creation of the Higher Broadcasting Council, which regulates and oversees radio and television broadcasts. In this Law, the copyright of radio and television production is referred to as royalties and states that ‘Radio and TV channels are obliged to pay royalties to the authors who hold the copyright for the productions they broadcast’. The regulations on copyrights for radio and television broadcasts are limited to this. However, Article 45 of the Law authorizes the Supreme Council to issue regulations on the principles and procedures for the protection of copyright and producer rights.


Regulation on Principles and Procedures for the Protection of Copyright and Producer Rights No: 118/2001

The Supreme Board of Broadcasting has issued the Regulation No: 118/2001 with the authority given to it by the Law No: 39/1997. The purpose of this regulation is to regulate the royalties to be paid to the authors for the publications of radio and television organizations and to regulate the procedures and principles of the rights of the producer and copyright holders. Published works of broadcast comprise of all kinds of intellectual works such as literature, music, cinema and fine arts published by radio and television organizations. According to Article 6 of this Regulation, they have the right to allow or prohibit the broadcasting of the productions owned by radio and television organizations by other broadcasters, to their transmission, to the transmission and distribution by satellite, IP and other systems, to the distribution and reproduction of the publications and to the transmission of the transmission in the open spaces. On the other hand, filmmakers have the authority to allow or prohibit the distribution or reproduction, sale and rental of films directly or indirectly, provided that they inherit the financial rights from the author and artists, and to sell or distribute copies of the films that have not yet been sold in the country, or to prohibit thereof. As can be seen, copyright-paying radio and television organizations and filmmakers aim to profit from the publication or reproduction of these works. Therefore, the rules aim to protect the rights of the authors and prevent unfair gain from the productions. However, there is no need for royalties for educational, scientific research, public order, or short publications which have not been created for the purpose of profit. While the statute states that copyright can be done by the Ministry of Culture, or the term ‘or broadcasting works documented according to the situation’, it is implied that the broadcast works do not necessarily have to be documented in the Ministry of Culture. Therefore, the copyright of the work can be documented by a notary or in another way. The rules governing the rights of the publisher and copyright holders to which the rules are prescribed may be amended by a contract between the parties. However, in case a complaint is made to the Supreme Broadcast Council, the original of this contract must be submitted. The amount and form of the copyright payments to be made by the organizations to the authors is determined by the contract between the parties. If the radio and TV organizations have used the work without the written permission of the copyright holders or the contract to use the work, they are deemed to have violated the copyright.

  • Gürkan&Gürkan
  • June 2019