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December 21, 2023

In the Context of Copyright Law in Turkey Copyright Protection on The Internet

      I.          INTRODUCTION

Copyrights are, above all, legally granted rights on products that the individual produces with all kinds of intellectual labour. Registration is not required for the birth of Copyright. Because the rights on intellectual and artistic works are born with the production of the work.

Copyrights in Turkey, shall be preserved under the Law No. 5846 on Intellectual and Artistic Works (“LIAW“) LIAW came into force on 1 January 1952. Although the history of the law is old, it has undergone some changes until today. Because, the protection of copyrights is a human right and it is protected by article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was accepted at the United Nations General Assembly of 1948.

Copyrights are considered to be the least harmonized area worldwide according to other Intellectual Property Rights, as they are subject to various interpretations due to their elements and scope. As a result of this situation, application differences are observed from country to country on similar issues.

With the digital age and the level of development reached worldwide, copyright has become an area that has been faced more frequently recently. However, the number of disputes arising due to copyrights has increased significantly, especially in the internet environment.


According to LIAW, the owner of the work is the person who created the work. Therefore, the right owner who created the work becomes the exclusive owner of the financial and moral rights on the work with the creation of the work[1].

It should be noted that although the transfer of ownership of the work to a person other than the owner of the work is possible in certain aspects, it requires a separate saving process. Because while the transfer of the moral rights of the owner of the work on the work is not possible; transfer of financial rights (as well as authority to exercise moral rights) is possible. So far, the contracts for the transfer of rights on works that have not yet been created or completed are null and void.

In accordance with LIAW, the rights arising from the ownership of the work are deemed to be violated in the event that a work is processed, reproduced, published or represented by devices that transmit any image, sound or signal without the permission of the owner. Violations of these rights have become widespread especially in recent years due to the unauthorized sharing, reproduction and publications made without the permission of the author. Compensation lawsuits filed against large sums due to the said violations in all levels of jurisdiction continue.

As a matter of fact, pursuant to the provisional article 4 of LIAW, in relation to the owner and any of the rights on the work or the terms and conditions regarding the use of the work, the information on the copies of the work or seen during the presentation of the work to the public and the numbers or codes representing this information cannot be eliminated and changed without authorization. Originals or copies of works whose numbers and codes representing the information and information that have been changed or removed without authorization may not be distributed, imported, published or transmitted to the public.

In case of copyright infringement in the online environment, the “Warn-Remove System” is applied to protect the rights of the authors and other related rights holders. Provisional article 4 of LIAW gives the opportunity to request the cessation of the violation within 3 (three) days by applying to the information content provider for the natural or legal person whose rights are prevalent. If the content provider does not comply with the rights owner’s requests within three days and continues to act on the subject of the violation, the author will be able to apply to the Public Prosecutor’s Office this time. With the application made to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, it shall be requested from the service provider to stop the service provided to the information content provider that continues to violate within 3 (three) days. If the violation is stopped, the service is provided to the information content provider again.

As it is known, stopping the violation by applying the “Warn- Remove System” does not ensure that the damages suffered materially and morally by the owner of the work. Therefore, material and moral damages shall also be filed simultaneously with the cessation of the violation. It should also be remembered that if the actions in question constitute “unfair competition” in accordance with the Turkish Commercial Code (“TCC“) numbered 6102, it shall be argued that the claims arising from unfair competition may be put forward.

Law No. 5651 on the Arrangement of Internet Broadcasts and Combating Crimes Committed Through These Publications (“Law No. 5651”) should be evaluated within the scope of crimes committed through internet broadcasts other than LIAW. The Law No. 5651 contains the issues regarding the fight against certain crimes committed on the internet by regulating the obligations and responsibilities of content providers, access providers and mass use providers. When the Supreme Court’s Decisions are examined, in the case of the sample decisions, the content and design of the plaintiff’s website is copied by the defendant and / or the publication of a work entitled by the plaintiff without permission and without paying royalties, it was concluded that the legal responsibility of the defendant should be determined by evaluating the provisions of the Law No. 5651 and the additional and provisional article 4 of LIAW together.


Copyright protection is described as a human right in terms of providing legal protection on products that the person creates with all kinds of intellectual labor. Today, in order to spread the use of the internet and make the information available quickly, many contents, works, copies and / or duplicated by third parties without any permission or even knowledge of the owner or the rights to work in similar ways are violated.

It is extremely important to be protected from these violations in the internet environment, in Turkish Law, the “Warn-Remove System” was adopted, which can be applied quickly in the first place. In case this application is inconclusive; it is possible to apply to the Public Prosecutor’s Office and, if necessary, to make compensation and similar claims due to the relevant violations of rights under LIAW, Law No. 5651 and TCC.

[1] The work made for hire rule, which stipulates that the entitlement on the work that is accepted and created in the Anglo-Saxon legal system is born directly on the person who placed the order / instruction on the creation of the work, is not valid in Turkish law.


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