Turkish artists fight for intellectual property rights
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News | 4/27/2011 12:00:00 AM |
Copyright issues and music piracy have been responsible for dramatically reducing album sales, according to representatives of the music industry.
Copyright issues and music piracy have been responsible for dramatically reducing album sales, according to representatives of the music industry, who met on Tuesday, World Intellectual Property Day, in Istanbul to discuss their problems.
“While 45 million albums were produced in 1995, this number is 6 million today,” said Mine Aksoy, a general manager at Universal Music Taxim Edition. “Illegal digital platforms and pirate productions are the most important reason why album sales dropped by 40 percent. Everyone from music unions to professional societies and from the state to listeners should gather and support this struggle of artists to get their rights.”
Aksoy said her firm was an international company that was founded to protect the rights of artists.
“Turkey is 100 years behind the rest of the world,” said Fuat Güner of the Turkish band Mazhar Fuat Özkan, or MFÖ. “For example, copyrights were acquired in France 100 years ago but we are still discussing winning our rights in Turkey.”
Orhan Gencebay, a Turkish music pioneer with fans throughout the country and the Middle East, said they were working on a new project to prevent the violation of artists’ copyrights.
He said the project was almost done and that they would soon deliver it to officials. He did not elaborate on the content of the project.
“The music sector has collapsed in Turkey,” said Gencebay. “Copyrights are not only the problem of Turkish musicians; the rights of foreign artists who are popular in our country are also not paid royalties. Turkey is known as a ‘pirate’ in the art world. This hurts us.”
Musical Work Owners Society of Turkey, or MESAM, Director Faruk Demir said their biggest handicap was a lack of unity among various music producers’ associations.
“All of [us] should gather under the same roof. It is worse that the owners of works do not own their own rights,” he said.