Music industry calls for action against scourge of piracy
Record company heads in Istanbul urge enforcement of new copyright law
Istanbul, April 3, 2001 - Leaders of the European recording industry joined their Turkish colleagues in an urgent call for action against the high levels of music piracy in Turkey. They welcomed the new copyright law and asked for the support of the government in effectively enforcing this legislation to combat the serious piracy problem.
Music piracy in Turkey consists of locally produced cassettes and CD-Rs coupled with imported illegal CDs from Eastern Europe (Ukraine and Bulgaria). The bulk of piracy is Turkish music on cassettes. Estimates of the current level of music piracy in Turkey are around 50 percent, with piracy of international music at around 60 per cent. This is more than six times the average piracy level in the EU and it represents losses to the legitimate industry of around 30 million US$.
The music industry made a strong plea to the Turkish government to ensure that the copyright law, just entered into force, will have a long-lasting deterrent effect on piracy. This law contains penalties of four to six years imprisonment and high fines.
IFPI, the organisation representing the music industry worldwide, presented the Turkish Minister of Culture, M. Istemihan Talay with a special Platinum Award in recognition of his work to improve copyright protection in Turkey.
"The amendments to the Turkish Copyright Law were long overdue", said Jay Berman, Chairman and CEO of IFPI. "It is thanks to the strong support from His Excellency Minister M. Istemihan Talay that we finally have a piece of legislation in Turkey that has all the necessary elements to allow the authorities to reduce the high levels of music piracy. This is good news for Turkish and foreign record companies. What we now want to see is vigorous and sustained enforcement against widespread piracy in this country."
Turkey has a rich music culture, with local repertoire representing almost 90 per cent of the market. Due to both the economic crisis in the country and widespread piracy, sales of recorded music in Turkey were down to around 120 million US$ in 2000, compared to almost 130 million US$ in 1999. As legitimate sales have declined, piracy now accounts for an increasingly large share of overall sales.
Aydin Oskay, Chairman of Mü-YAP said: "With the new Copyright Law the Turkish music industry is equipped to compete in the 21st Century. The law is a confirmation of our rights as producers and these rights need to be respected. Mü-YAP, representing nearly all the music producers in Turkey, is heartened by the strong support from the Turkish government represented by His Excellency Minister M. Istemihan Talay."
"Piracy undermines investment in musical culture in Turkey", said Rupert Perry, Senior Vice President EMI Recorded Music and Chairman of IFPI's European Board. "Mü-YAP and IFPI will work with Turkish enforcement bodies to stop pirate imports at the borders and to clamp down on local production and distribution of illegal music. The European Union considers proper protection of copyright as a priority issue in its accession negotiations with Turkey. With the new law and the ongoing support from His Excellency Minister M. Istemihan Talay, I expect we will be able to send a positive report to Brussels by the end of this year;"
IFPI represents over 1400 producers and distributors worldwide.
Key facts about the turkish music market
For further information contact:
Francine Cunningham, IFPI, tel: 00 32 478/261995 (Enquiries in English)