Select Committee on Trade and Industry Appendices to the Report


Memorandum submitted by British Music Rights

As Turkey is a key market for our members[1], we would like to take the opportunity offered by this inquiry to inform you of the concerns of the creative industries regarding copyright legislation and enforcement there.

  The Department of Culture, Media and Sport estimated that creative industries generate over £60 billion of revenue a year in the UK, contributing more than 4 per cent to gross domestic product. The UK industry has a world market share of between 10 and 15 per cent and the value of UK music exports was last estimated at more than £1.3 billion, twice the value of imports. Copyright royalties make up the vast proportion of composers' and publishers' income. The revenue collected from overseas territories directly depends on the level of copyright protection existing in those countries.

  Turkey represents a large and rapidly growing market for music, including British repertoire. Between 1995 and 1999, Turkey was the fastest growing music market in the world, with the value of music sales increasing by almost 188 per cent. In 1995 (the most recent reliable statistical year), half the population was under the age of 24. The 15-44 age group (ie those most likely to buy music) will grow by 2.9 million individuals by 2005. Although the market has been traditionally dominated by local repertoire, increasingly international music publishers have established in Turkey in order to exploit international music, which now takes up over 20 per cent of sales.


  Our industry is not faced with a problem of market access in Turkey. Our publisher members can enter the Turkish market quite successfully by appointing a sub-publisher based in Turkey to represent their works there. For many publishers, this involves the appointment of a subsidiary or related company; for others it involves the appointment of an independent sub-publisher. Considering the growing success of British repertoire in this territory, the main issue for us remains whether we are getting the full value out of that market in terms of remuneration for our authors.

  Our industry is faced with a problem of piracy. The potential market value for British composers, songwriters and publishers in the enlarged Turkish market is growing but so is the effect of piracy on their expected income. Creators can only benefit from the growing value of the market if adequate copyright protection mechanisms (legislation and enforcement) are in place. As a condition for accession to European Union, Turkey will have to endorse the acquis communautaire in terms of copyright legislation but we need to monitor this carefully and ensure there is a proper level of enforcement of intellectual property rights.

  We would like the Trade and Industry Committee to ask the Turkish Government whether they believe that adequate mechanisms are in place to protect copyright.

    —  Is Turkish substantive law appropriate? Will it meet the challenges created by the growth of on-line distribution of music?

    —  Is there an appropriate level of enforcement in place to fight piracy? Will it be sufficient to fight on-line piracy?


  The Turkish Parliament is currently considering a bill amending their 1995 copyright law in order to make it compliant with international conventions. Whilst we welcome this initiative, we are concerned that some of the provisions of the bill fall short of the European and international convention standards and will affect the ability of our industry to succeed in the Turkish market.

  We are particularly concerned by the following changes:

1.1  Private copying

  Turkey probably intended to follow French and German legislation when it decided to put in place a levy scheme on blank media, such as cassette, video and CD, for private copying. The UK creative industries have never been in support of such an approach. Though we believe that levy schemes are acceptable for copying on traditional media (ie cassette tapes), the only way for rights owners to be compensated properly for the use of their work in the on-line environment is through an exclusive right to license for on-line distribution of music. Levy schemes remove the creator's control over the use and the price of his work.

  To the extent that we support levy schemes, we believe that the only justification for such schemes is that they adequately compensate the author. The draft proposal provides for a 3 per cent levy on blank media but instead of going to the authors whose works have been copied, the money will be used by the Ministry of Culture to subsidise projects of a cultural and social nature. The proposal, in our view, therefore defeats the purpose of a private levy as it does not provide for any compensation to the rights owners whose works have been copied. This principle is contrary to the spirit of the provisions on private copying in the European proposed Copyright Directive.

  The Trade and Industry Committee could ask the Turkish Government whether they are aware that the draft proposal may not comply with the proposed Copyright Directive and ask them whether they will ensure that the levy scheme does not inhibit the rights owner from controlling on-line distribution of his music once licensing schemes are in place.

1.2  Performing right

  The draft proposal provides for the deletion of the exclusive right to authorise the communication to the public of the performances of works by loudspeakers or other similar devices. This move will allow restaurants and other commercial premises to play music without the authorisation of, and payment to, rights holders. In Europe, restaurants and retailers need to get a licence from the collecting societies managing the authors' performing rights (the Performing Right Society in the UK) in order to play music in their premises. The monies collected by the collecting societies are then redistributed to the authors. This is common practice and failing to provide for these rights is contrary to international copyright conventions. The European Commission brought a case against the US at the WTO level on the ground that the US Fairness in Musical Licensing Act 1998, which provides for an exception similar to the one in the Turkish draft proposal, was contrary to Article 11 and 11bis of the Berne Convention and Article 9 of TRIPS. In its June decision, the WTO Panel ruled in favour of the European Commission.

  The Trade and Industry Committee could ask the Turkish Government whether they are aware that the current proposal is most likely to be in breach of the TRIPS Agreement.


  We know from experience that substantive law alone is not sufficient to fight piracy and that effective copyright enforcement mechanisms are needed to stem the tide. The high piracy level shows that Turkey does not meet the European standards in terms of enforcement procedures.

  The 1999 level of piracy of the international repertoire is estimated to be 40 per cent, while the overall piracy level, including local repertoire, is 30 per cent. There is a lack of expertise on intellectual property rights both at the prosecution and judiciary level. Criminal proceedings are lengthy and almost never lead to a jail sentence. [2]

  We regret that the lack of proper enforcement of copyright hinders the commercial relationship of British creative industries with Turkey and believe that adequate enforcement mechanisms and awareness of the value of IPRs are vital in order to ensure that our income reflects the level of the market.

  We were pleased to see that the recent proposal includes some measures to help the fight against piracy. These measures include: seizures at borders, training on intellectual property law, fast proceedings for injunctive relief, increase of the penalties in cases of copyright infringement. We hope that the Turkish Government will have the resources to apply these provisions and that it will lead to an improvement of the current situation.

  The Trade and Industry Committee could ask the Turkish Government how they will ensure that the new law is properly enforced and whether the Government has sufficient resources to apply the new enforcement measures.

  Since the law is currently being reviewed, we believe that it is appropriate to raise the importance of the piracy issue with Turkish officials and to suggest that legislative measures be accompanied by a campaign of awareness of intellectual property rights, citing the Creative Industries Intellectual Property Group report as an example, a copy of which is enclosed for your interest.

  The Trade and Industry Committee could ask what the Turkish Government is doing to raise copyright awareness.

3 October 2000

1   British Music Rights' members are the Music Publishers Association, the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters, the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) and the Performing Right Society (PRS). Back

2   Source: International Intellectual Property Alliance, 2000 report. Back

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