To help making everything clear in our readers’ minds, we are writing this article investigating again the whole process that lead to blocking and re-opening access to some Google IP’s. According to the news we get from Digiturk, they detected in April that a pirate broadcasting of LigTV was present on a Google owned IP.
By the way, we should mention that Digiturk is a digital platform that owns the rights of broadcasting the Turkish Football League games under a subscription method via Lig TV channel. And since they acquired these rights by spending a very huge amount of money to win the bid, they claimed that there are lots of blogs on Google IP’s violating the Law No. 5846 on Intellectual and Artistic Works by giving illegal broadcasting links and should be taken to the Court.
According to the news we got from Digiturk officials and spokesperson, Digiturk decided to take the issue to the Court reasoning the violation of broadcasting copyrights of Lig TV. In Turkey, site access restriction decisions are highly based upon the Act No. 5651, which is regulating the 9 catalogue crimes including child pornography. But there is a “warn and remove” application before blocking access to web sites and IP addresses. That’s pretty handy solution in these situations where a mighty provider like Google could easily be restricted due to copyright violations.
So Digiturk officials claim that they tried to get into touch with Google administration in April but could not could not find any respondent from the search giant. After failing to remove the copyright violating content from web site and finding a respondent from IP owner, Digiturk took the case to TIB (Telecommunication Transmission Directorate), a directorate under Turkish telecom regulatory body BTK. But TIB decided that they could not restrict access to the IP directly since the accused crime was not in the catalogue crimes defined under Act No. 5651.
Digiturk staff then took the case again to another court and explained they couldn’t find a respondant from IP owner to remove the copyrighted content. The Court demanded an expert view of the situation and the IP provider of the accused web site was confirmed to be Google. Then the Court ruled the access restriction to this IP on 7th of June.
Coincidently on the very same days, another investigation was also prosecuted against Google IP’s that provided YouTube access by another Court. Some 44 IP addresses was found to be hosting YouTube,the popular web site which is also restricted in Turkey for about 2 years. In fact, some Google Aps and YouTube was using these IP’s from a pool and when these IP’s were blocked some Google Aps were also blocked.
The access restriction decision given upon Digiturk’s case and upon regular IP checking to identify YouTube IP’s were largely confused with each other in the news coverings. And therefore Digiturk, solely was blamed for blocking access to all Google Apps.
Finaly on 2nd July, Google came a step forward to remove the copyrighted content from net and access to the IP closed over Digiturk’s appeal was opened again. But if all this storyline is true, it is very interesting that Google did nothing to remove the copyrighted content for more than 2 months almost waiting for an access restriction decision.
But, again, wasn’t that same attitude when YouTube did exactly nothing to remove videos obviously insulting Ataturk who is still a sensitive issue for millions of Turks especially for women in Turkey? Whether they are trying to make a big sensation or ignore Turkish sensitiviy, I guess that attitude became a very bad habit for them.
Update on 22nd July: Digiturk, has sent an update to our news. You can read Digiturk’s additional announcement below:
Although Google was warned according to the legal procedures, the content which was violating LigTV’s copyrights were not removed. After that Digiturk started legal action and court decided to close Google’s IP. After the IP address is blocked, Google Earth, Google Translate and Google Apps were not available for a while because the same IP address was shared by Google’s other services. Google insisted on not blocking or removing the illegal LigTV content and caused problems to their users for more than a month.
After that, Google has accepted that there was a copyright violation in his blogger service and informed the court the copyright violating content was removed. But Google’s announcement was a misinformation, and they decieved the Court by telling that the content was removed. By court experts, Digiturk has proved that the content was still was online after 3 days Google declared the removal of content.