Violation of Intellectual Property Rights in the TRNC

Violation of Intellectual Property Rights in the TRNC

Intellectual Property Law is an area of law which is gaining more and more importance in today’s world. As a result of developing technology and globalization, it has become easier for people to access to art and other works. It is very important that laws related to copyright and patents are developed in order to protect the artists or authors of the works, ideas and inventions as well as to prevent the damage resulting as a result of infringement of their intellectual rights and thereby enabling such work to add value the society in which we live.Origin of “copyright”.

The works or products that emerged as ideas in the early civilizations were considered to be equal to material products. Therefore, there was no need to protect the material and moral rights of the authors who created the work or the idea. Everyone could copy a work as she wished. The idea of protection of intellectual property rights emerged through “printing privileges." While the invention of the printing house paved the way for the easier and faster reproduction of the work, it was necessary for the first printing house to find a draft in order to print the work and make it suitable for printing. After the first edition, other printers were able to reproduce and copy this work without even finding the original. This situation led to unfair competition both materially and morally. For this reason, the state authorities made arrangements for printing concessions and allowed a work to be published by only one printing press. The printers had become the owner of the copy by making payment to the owner of the work. This is the origin of the term ‘copyright’. In the early days, this right was defined as the copyright and the right of duplication. The concession granted to printers was later adopted as a rule for writers in the 16th century. The first Copyright Law was passed in 1709 as Act Anne in England. In the UK, while the legislation in force is ‘Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988’, in the TRNC, its older counterpart of Copyright Act 1911 is in force.

Copyright in TRNC Law

Cyprus is one of the oldest colonies of England, and in many areas it still applies England's pre-1960 laws. Chapter 264 Copyright Law came into force on 25 April 1919 in the TRNC. Since Chapter 264, Copyrights Law is made up of four articles and the remaining part of the law refers to the Copyright Law of England in 1911 to be applied. First of all, it is necessary to explain what the term "copyright" means. According to clause 1 (2) of the 1911 Copyright Act of the UK, "copyright" means the sole right to produce or reproduce the work or any substantial part thereof in any material form whatsoever, to perform, or in the case of a lecture to deliver, the work or any substantial part thereof in public; if the work is unpublished, to publish the work or any substantial part thereof. However, copyright provides the author with the sole right to produce the work as follows;

(a) To produce, reproduce, perform, or publish any translation of the work;

(b) In the case of a dramatic work, to convert it into a novel or other non-dramatic work;

(c) In the case of a novel or other non-dramatic work, or of an artistic work, to convert it into a dramatic work, by way of performance in public or otherwise;

(d) In the case of a novel or other non-dramatic work, or of an artistic work, to convert it into a dramatic work, by way of performance in public or otherwise;

Chapter 264 made minor changes to the original 1911 English Copyright Law and made it applicable in the TRNC. According to Copyright Act 1911 article 14, the importation of works other than the United Kingdom without the permission of the author of the book is subject to copyright infringement. The importation of these works into the country is subject to the customs and production law (Customs Consolidation Act 1876). In TRNC and according to clause 2 of chapter 264 Copyright Law, with reference to clause 14, envisages that the regulations regarding the import of the works made out of TRNC to be imported to TRNC will be regulated by giving the same power to the same authority in TRNC as the power given to the Customs and Taxes Chamber Director by 1911 copyright act of England and that this may be regulated by the regulations issued by the Customs and Taxes Chamber Director and approved by the council of ministers.

Violation of Copyright

In order for a person to file an indemnity claim for damages arising from the infringement of copyright, the work must have a valid copyright. The law explains who owns the copyright. Accordingly, if a carving work, a plate or other original material has been ordered by another person and the order is subsequently executed with a valid equivalent, the person who is ordered in favor is the first owner of the work in the absence of a contrary agreement.

In the absence of an agreement, the first owner of the work becomes an employer if the author, being an employee or a contractor,created the work during work hours while working for the employer. However, in the absence of a contrary agreement, even if he/she is employed by someone else, if the work is an article, magazine or newspaper, the creator of the work is the author of the work and has the authority to decide whether to publish the work.

What is meant by copyright is explained above. The person who uses the sole and exclusive rights of the law to the owner of the copyright without the permission of the owner will have infringed the copyright. However, the law included some exceptions to this and stated that these exceptions would not impose any copyright.

However, the law included some exceptions to this and stated that these exceptions would not amount to any copyright infringement. The burden of proving that the use of the work is within the scope of these exceptions is on the person who uses the work in this way. Accordingly,

  1. To make a fair use of the work for private study, research, criticism, review, newspaper summary,
  2. If the author of an artistic work does not own a copyright, the copyrighted work may be used by itself for the purposes of, his/her work provided that it does not mimic the copyrighted work for caste, sketch, plan, model, or work, or that it does not repeat its master plan.
  3. To permanently place pictures, drawing, carvings or photographs, sculpture or crafts in a public place or building, or to make or publish pictures, drawings, carvings or photographs of architectural work or art ( which is not originally an architectural work), sculpture or handcraft art.
  4. Essentially, a collection of non-copyrighted materials, published in good faith for use in schools, and in the advertisements of the publisher, contains small texts from the original work, which have been unpublished and copyrighted for use in the school: the author should not be able to publish more than two texts and should specify the source of the texts.
  5. Publication of the lecture or conference report delivered to the public in a newspaper, unless the conference or lecture has been written or printed prior to or during the lecture or in the course of the lecture or at the entrance of the building if there is a notice where the conference is or is being held that publication of such report is prohibited except whilst the building is being used for public worship, in a position near the lecturer.
  6. Reading or telling a part of the published work by a person in a public environment.

In addition, a person who sells or rents the work, sells or rents for the purpose of trading, distributes the work for commercial purposes or distributes the work to prejudice the rights of the copyright owner, or by importing the work to sell or rent within the boundaries of the TRNC is considered to have violated the copyright. . A business owner who permits a copyrighted work to be performed in the theatre or other entertainment facilities also violates the copyright, unless the work is known to be copyrighted or there is no reason to suspect that t is copyrighted.

How long is the copyright registered?

The author takes the copyright of the work after completing the necessary procedures and thus prevents the third parties to benefit from the work without their permission, or to replicate or copy the work. Copyright is the sole right on an artefact and authorizes the copyright holder to decide how and in what way the work will be used, by whom and for what purpose, but copyrights do not last indefinitely.

Accordingly, copyright will last for 50 years after the death of the author and as long as the author is alive. However, after 25 years from the death of the author or, for works that have copyright at the time this law comes into effect, after 30 years from the death of the author, copying this work for selling does not violate copyright. The person who duplicates the work must have written the intent to the copyright owner in writing and the copyright holder must have paid the royalties to use the work. Otherwise, copyright infringement will occur and the copyright holder will be entitled to compensation.

  • Gürkan&Gürkan
  • February 2023