The broadcasting rights of sports competitions is one of the most commonly violated areas today. In particular, the protection of broadcasting rights of football matches is getting harder day by day, and the number of platforms where the matches are broadcast illegally is increasing.
When an illegal broadcast is detected, what needs to be done is to take an “Access Denial Decision” in accordance with the Law No. 5651 on the “Regulation of Broadcasts on the Internet and Combating Crimes Committed Through These Broadcasts” (“Law no. 5651”). The court in charge for the Access Denial Decision is the Criminal Judgeship of Peace.
ACCESS DENIAL DECISION ACCORDING TO TFF LAW
In accordance with the Additional Article 1 added to the Law No. 5894 on the Establishment and Duties of the Turkish Football Federation (“TFF Law”) with the Law No. 7346 published in the Official Gazette dated December 25, 2021, the Turkish Football Federation (“TFF”) will now be able to make a decision without the need for a court decision in order to take an access denial decision.
In order for an access denial decision to be made, the broadcasts of football matches must be presented unlawfully. After the violation is detected by the TFF, an access block decision can be made regarding the section where the violation occurred. If a partial access blocking decision does not prevent the violation from occurring, a decision to block access to the entire website may be made.
Protection of broadcasting rights
ADDITIONAL ARTICLE 1
- If it is determined that the broadcasts related to football matches within the borders of the Republic of Turkey are made available on the internet illegally, the Board of Directors decides to block the access regarding the broadcast, section, section (in the form of URL, etc.) where the violation occurred. However, in cases where it is not technically possible to block access to the infringing content or the violation cannot be prevented by blocking access to the relevant content, a decision to block access to the entire website may be made. This decision is sent to the Access Providers Association in accordance with Article 6/A of the Law on the Regulation of Broadcasts Made on the Internet and Fight Against Crimes Committed Through These Broadcasts, dated 4/5/2007 and numbered 5651. Against this decision, an appeal can be made to the Criminal Judgeship of Peace within one week. An administrative unit is established within the TFF to carry out the works and procedures related to the blocking of access. The Board of Directors may delegate its authority under this article to persons who will take charge in the administrative unit.
Pursuant to Additional Article 1, TFF will now be able to make a decision directly without applying to the Criminal Judgeship of Peace in order to give an access ban decision. As a result of this decision, the access of the matches that are illegally broadcast on the internet sites by the TFF may be blocked.
The access ban decision given by the TFF will be sent to the “Access Providers Association” to enforce it. The other party will be able to apply to the Criminal Judgeship of Peace within one week for objections regarding this access ban decision.
It is the Board of Directors that is authorized to make the decision regarding the blocking of access in accordance with the Additional Article 1 of the TFF Law. The provision of the article also made it possible for an administrative unit to be established within the TFF to issue an access ban decision by transferring the authority of the board of directors.
Access is blocked by the “Access Barrier Decision” of the Criminal Judgeship of Peace pursuant to the Law No. 5651. However, pursuant to the new articles added to the TFF Law with the Law No. 7346, the authority to make this decision is no longer limited to the Criminal Judgeship of Peace, but the decision to block access to the TFF has been granted.
It is clear that the increase in the number of illegally broadcast sports competitions on the internet reveals the need to act quickly. For this reason, acting with the decision of the TFF without the need for a court decision will facilitate the prevention of illegal match broadcasts.
The full text of the Law can be accessed here.
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Selinsu KÜLÜK (Apprentice Attorney)
Uçar Law & Consultancy Office