European Union (“EU”) Commission published the second “Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List” (“Watch List”) on 14 December 2020 comprises significant information and determination regarding infringement of intellectual and industrial property rights on online and physical markets in non-EU countries.
The Watch List, which was first published in 2018, aims to draw the attention of the relevant governments to the violations, to inform the consumers and raise the awareness on pirated and counterfeit products by disclosing businesses providing such content and infringing products on internet and online marketplaces as well as physical marketplaces in non-EU countries.
The Watch List focuses on of four main infringing contents (i) online service providers offering or facilitating access to copyright-protected
content, (ii) e-commerce platforms, (iii) online pharmacies and service providers facilitating the sales of medicines and (iv) physical marketplaces.
As it was in Watch List in 2018, the current Watch List also includes infringing acts in Turkey. Followings are the observations concluded regarding Turkey:
- Under online service providers offering or facilitating access to copyright-protected content section of the report, fullhdfilmizlesene (fullhdfilmizlesene.com or www.fulllhdfilmizlesene.org) is reported as one of the most complained websites in the audiovisual industry, which is also listed in 2018 Watch List. The website, the facilitates access to unauthorized copies of movies and other content by aggregating, categorizing (by genre, most recommended and most viewed etc.), organizing and indexing links to video hosting services and cyberlockers. The provider of the website uses domain privacy and proxy services in order to hide its identity and its address. When two published Watch Lists in 2018 and 2020 are compared, it is notable that the website decreased to 9.60 million visitors in June 2020, whereas the website had approximately 40 million visitors per month in 2018’s report. 88.68% of the visitors are from Turkey in 2020. As for the global rankings listed on SimilarWeb, the average rank of the website was previously recorded as 1.313. During this 2-year period, this ranking was decreased to 3.131.
- Even though the market power of the e-commerce platforms surpassed the physical markets in recent years, the physical marketplaces preserved its important place in terms of counterfeit goods trade. In the Watch List, Grand Bazaar, which consist of more than 4,000 shops, located at Istanbul was once again reported as the largest physical marketplace in Turkey. It is stated that various counterfeit goods are offered to sale in Grand Bazaar shops, but especially bags, watches, clothing, leather goods, perfumes and toys. Different than the Watch List in 2018, the difficulty to obtain search and seizure warrants in the infringers in Grand Bazaar was emphasized in the report. In the current report, it was criticized that search and seizure were rarely issued in the last two years, the sentences given against the defendants were mostly postponed and the sentences were not deterrent for the other infringers. Besides the Grand Bazaar, the current Watch List refers Bedesten Bazaar in Izmir and Ak Bazaar in Istanbul as other physical marketplaces where counterfeit products are sold.
The full text of the second edition of the EU Commission’s Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List is available at this link.