I reported on Friday, 24 October, 2008 that access to Blogger.com and blogspot.com were blocked in Turkey. with a blocking order of the Diyarbakir First Criminal Court of Peace (dated 20.10.2008 and order no. 2008/2761).
It is now being reported by Turk.internet.com that the blocking order is related to an intellectual property infringement. Digitürk is a subscription based digital TV platform in Turkey which owns the right to transmit the live coverage of the Turkish football league games. Digitürk obtained the blocking order through the Diyarbakir court according to the Turk.internet.com news as there were blog entries providing information and links to known websites which transmit pirated transmission of the live football league games.
According to the news Digitürk contacted blogger.com and requested the blog entries to be taken down but nothing was done by blogger.com and Digitürk had no other option than requesting the Diyarbakir court to block access to the two domains and their IP addresses. Such a blocking is allowed under the Turkish intellectual property laws and Digitürk previously obtained a similar access blocking order for JustinTV and for MyP2P TV.
I will assess the wider implications for such a blocking order within the next few days.
As of 01 October, 2008, 1115 websites are blocked in Turkey under the provisions of Law No. 5651. It is however believed that the blocking order issued by the Diyarbakir court is outside the scope of Law No. 5651. The blocking orders issued under Law No. 5651 are executed by the Telecommunications Communication Presidency (TIB) and they provide an “execution notice” when that is the case. However, there is no information whatsoever provided on the http://www.blogger.com pages when accessed from Turkey.
[Blog entry by Dr. Yaman Akdeniz]
A detailed assessment of the Turkish approaches to Internet content regulation will be provided in an 80 page long report entitled Restricted Access: A Critical Assessment of Internet Content Regulation and Censorship in Turkey written by Dr. Yaman Akdeniz and Dr. Kerem Altiparmak. This bi-lingual (English/Turkish) report will be published during November 2008 and will be made available as a PDF file through cyberlaw.org.uk and cyber-rights.org.tr pages.