Turkish court rules to block Periscope during soccer game broadcasts

An İstanbul court ruled to block access to Periscope, a live video streaming app owned by Twitter, during the broadcasting of Turkey’s Süper Lig soccer games, Asharq Al-Awsat news reported.

The decision follows a move by Digitürk, a Turkish satellite television provider, to stop Periscope from broadcasting soccer games without permission by taking the matter to court.

The case is expected to constitute a precedent for other platforms that broadcast sporting events without permission, Asharq Al-Awsat said. The court’s decision will come into effect on Aug. 10, kickoff day for the Süper Lig’s new season.

“It is the first time since the ESB was found that a court ruled for blocking access to a digital service for a certain period of time in a day. We will block access to Scope when a Super League match starts and resume the access after it ends,” he added.

Twitter’s Periscope was forced to change its name to Scope over another court ruling last month, after it was threatened with an access ban due to infringement of a Turkish trademark.

A Turkish court had ruled in June 2018 in a controversial trademark case that Periscope would be blocked in Turkey if it keeps that name after Turkish advertising company Periscope İletişim had sued Twitter, as well as Apple and Google, at the İstanbul 2nd Court of Intellectual Property Rights last year.

The company said it had registered the trademark in Turkey before Periscope was founded in the US in 2015. It claimed that Twitter’s mobile app, its account @Periscopeco and its website www.periscope.tv violated its trademark, while Google and Apple worsened the violation by favoring the US company on their platforms.

The court on June 12 had ordered Twitter to comply with Turkish law regarding its use of the Periscope brand. If Twitter continues to use the Periscope brand in Turkey, the ruling says, then the live streaming app, as well as its @periscopeco account on Twitter and its website on www.periscope.tv, would be blocked by the authorities.

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