Protecting Intellectual Property: Understanding the Role of Internet Service Providers in Combatting Illegal IPTV in Turkey
In today’s digital age, the protection of intellectual property rights has become a paramount concern for content creators,distributors, and consumers alike.
The rise of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) has introduced new challenges in safeguarding copyrighted content from unauthorized distribution. In Turkey, the responsibility of combatting illegal IPTV hardly falls on Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”) which play a vital role in upholding intellectual property rights.
Turkey’s legal framework has still room for improvement when it comes to address copyright infringement, including provisions that hold ISPs accountable for their role in facilitating the distribution of illegal IPTV services. Under Law No. 5651 on Regulation of Publications on the Internet and Combating Crimes Committed by Means of Such Publication (“The Internet Law”) article 6 (2), ISPs are under no obligation to verify the legality of the content or to conduct an examination to determine whether such content could result in any legal responsibilities. However, they are obliged to prevent access to any illegal content once notified of the existence of such content in accordance with the provisions of the Internet Law. ISPs risk facing administrative fines ranging from 10000 to 50000 Turkish Liras when they do not comply with the notifications.

Although Article 6 of The Internet Law initially appears to align with Article 14 of the e-Commerce Directive, commonly known as the “mere conduit” defense, it is important to note that The Internet Law offers protection against specific cybercrimes while excluding copyright infringement. As stated in Article 8 of The Internet Law, blocking injunctions can be implemented for offenses such as incitement to suicide, sexual abuse of children, facilitation of drug or stimulant use, supply of harmful substances, obscenity, prostitution, provision of gambling venues, crimes against Atatürk, offenses specified in Law No. 7528 on the Organization of Betting and Games of Chance in Football and Other Sports Competitions, and certain offenses outlined in Law No. 2937 on State Intelligence Services and the National Intelligence Organization. Moreover, it is worth noting that while The Internet Law also provides safeguards against crimes targeting personal rights, copyright -excluding moral rights arising from it- is not categorized as a personal right under the Turkish judicial system.


An additional provision pertaining to the unauthorized IPTV content can be found in the supplementary article 4 of Law No. 5846 on Intellectual and Artistic Works. According to this provision, copyright owners have the right to request the removal of illicit content when it is facilitated by service providers employing various transmission methods, including digital broadcasting, for the dissemination of signals, audio, and/or visuals. Such requests are initially directed to the infringing content provider and subsequently to the public prosecutor.


A recent addition has been made to enhance the protection of illegal IPTV services. As outlined in the supplementary Article 1 of Law No. 5894 on the Establishment and Duties of the Turkish Football Federation, if unauthorized broadcasting of football matches, whether domestic or international, is identified on the internet, the Board of Directors of the Turkish Football Federation has the authority to order the blocking of specific publications, sections, or segments (such as URLs or similar identifiers). In cases where technical limitations hinder the blocking of specific content or where blocking select content proves ineffective in preventing infringement, a decision may be taken to block access to the entire website. While this measure specifically focuses on football matches, it has proven to be an highly effective method in combating illegal IPTV, enabling swift website shutdowns within a remarkable timeframe of just 10 minutes.
A difficulty confronted when eliminating illicit content is that once notified, ISPs must ensure all alternative means of access is prevented. The anonymous nature of the internet and the constant evolution of technology make it impossible to identify and take action against all alternative forms of infringing content promptly.
Despite the need for improved organization within Turkey’s legal framework concerning ISPs, recent developments that grant content owners the ability to promptly address illegal content show promise. Looking ahead, the implementation of advanced content recognition technologies and data analytics to support such measures would empower ISPs to enhance their efficiency in monitoring and detecting illicit IPTV services. Adopting this proactive approach would enable them to swiftly identify and block infringing content, effectively discouraging the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material. Additionally, fostering a close collaboration with content owners would facilitate ISPs in promptly responding to copyright infringement reports, leading to the expeditious removal of illicit content and appropriate actions taken against the offenders.
Discover a wealth of information on intellectual property rights and join the fight against illegal IPTV by contacting MEDIT at Gain valuable insights, explore effective strategies, and stay informed about the latest advancements in protecting your copyrighted material. Take an active role in safeguarding intellectual property by accessing our comprehensive resources, expert guidance, and innovative solutions. Join us in creating a world where creativity thrives, innovation is celebrated, and intellectual property is respected.