Blogspot banned in football row

Turkish football fan, AP The row is over who has the right to broadcast Turkish Super League football matches.

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A row over who can broadcast football matches in Turkey has led to Google's Blogger site being blocked.

A court in Turkey issued the ban in response to a copyright complaint by satellite TV firm Digiturk.

It complained when it discovered that some matches it was broadcasting were showing up on blogspot blogs written on the Blogger site.

About 600,000 Turkish bloggers are thought to use the Google tool to publish their personal journals.

The ban has been imposed because Turkey's copyright protection laws allow for entire services to be shut down.

In October, 2010 Turkey lifted a ban on YouTube that had been in place for two years.

Google confirmed the Blogger ban in a statement and said those with worries about piracy should turn to its easy to use takedown systems rather than seek a wholesale shutdown.

"The process for making a copyright claim for content uploaded to Blogger is straightforward and efficient, and we encourage all content owners to use it rather than seek a broad ban on access to the service," said a spokesperson.

"That way, people in Turkey can continue to enjoy Blogger whilst we respond to the specific complaint."

Digiturk said it went to court to protect its right to broadcast Turkey's Spor Toto Super League games on its Lig channel. Digiturk said the ban had not curbed all piracy as other sites beyond Blogger were still showing pirated streams of football matches.

Cyber-rights activist Yaman Akdeniz told the Hurriyet news site that the ban was a "disproportionate response" that would inconvenience millions of people.

"I understand there is a legitimate concern regarding Digiturk's commercial rights but banning all these websites will not solve the issue," he told the site.

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