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AKP again faces claims of copyright infringement in election campaign song

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In a decision that comes two months before elections, an appeals court has overturned the verdict of a lower court that had ruled the composer of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) campaign song was not entitled to damages for copyright infringement because the song’s lyricist had already been awarded compensation, the Kısa Dalga news website reported on Friday.

Many Turks associate the song, titled “Beraber Yürüdük Biz Bu Yollarda,” meaning “We Walked This Road Together,” with the AKP since the party has been using it in their election campaigns for years, with its leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, occasionally singing it at rallies and on TV shows.

Following a nine-year legal battle, the 16th Civil Chamber of the İstanbul Regional Court of Appeals last month overturned the decision of the local court, which had ruled that damages need not be paid to the composer of the music since the song’s lyricist had already been compensated for use of the song without permission.

The music’s composer, Selçuk Maner, had filed a lawsuit against the party back in 2014 for TL 900,000 ($47,455) in damages due to the unauthorized use of the song, saying the party used both the lyrics and the music.

According to Kısa Dalga, the İstanbul 4th Civil Court of Intellectual and Industrial Property Rights will re-hear the case in line with the appeals court decision and determine the amount of damages Maner must be paid for copyright infringement.

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