International company ‘claims’ rights on Turkish folk songs
İhsan Yılmaz - ISTANBUL
Universal, an internationally acclaimed company in the music industry, has illegally registered hundreds of Turkish folk music songs that are displayed on Youtube, according to a prominent Turkish producer.
The company appears to be the rightful owner of legendary folk songs by many musicians such as Neşet Ertaş, Mahsuni Şerif and Aşık Veysel.
Music producer Hasan Saltık, the owner of the Kalan Music, has filed a lawsuit at an Istanbul court against Universal.
At first, Saltık noticed that one of his folk singer’s song featured on Youtube was under the “claim” of the American giant Universal.
“‘Claim’ is a technical term, which is used to emphasize that it is yours. So, I immediately called the Istanbul office of Universal. They said that it was a software mistake,” Saltık said.
“They took back their claim on the Youtube video the next day. But my search got deeper, and I realized then that not only my artists but nearly all songs of Turkey’s prominent folk singers were under the ‘claim’ of this company as well,” added the producer.
With time, Saltık figured that the soundtracks of most loved Turkish TV series were also published under the company’s banner.
Saltık then filed a lawsuit in Istanbul to bring the issue under the notice.
“As soon as we found this irregularity, we asked the Istanbul Office of the company to give an explanation. The answer given was not satisfactory. They said it was a software error. What error? It has been continuing for years,” the producer said.
According to Saltık, Youtube’s Turkey office did not take any responsibility either on this. “We just give consultancy service to Youtube. You need to write the complaints to the headquarters in the United States,” the platform’s Turkey office told the producer.
While highlighting the importance of the “claim” rights, Saltık said, “When you ‘claim’ that a video or a song is yours on Youtube and that no one objects to it for 18 months, then Youtube starts to pay you.”
“As the songs are listened and their videos are watched, a copyright fee is paid to these international companies. These companies have been mooching on our folk songs,” the producer added.
“By this way, Universal may have earned millions of dollars illegally and unethically.”