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Greece/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.7 Copyright provisions

Law 2121/1993, on Copyright, Related Rights Matters and Cultural Issues defines a comprehensive framework for copyright protection, including provisions for genres or work and modes of reproduction made possible through technological development; it accepts a broad definition of what constitutes a "work", including any "original intellectual literary, artistic or scientific creation expressed in any form", such as musical compositions, dramatic works, choreographies and pantomimes, audiovisual works, fine art, architecture, applied art, illustrations, maps etc., but also computer programmes and databases; multimedia productions are not mentioned by name, but are generally covered by the law. It also defines the moral rights of creators as inalienable.

In general, copyright protection is for seventy years after the death of the author. The law provides for a non-transferable moral right of the author (and his or her heirs), and regulates the terms under which his or her economic rights may be transferred, exercised and exploited. A principle of a percentage-based fee to the author is stipulated for published works, as well as for performances (and additional forms of exploitation) of audiovisual works. A fair use limitation applies to public, educational or judicial information.

The interests of right holders over copying of their work are served by a compulsory fee: 4% of the value of photocopying machines and of photocopy paper, and 8% of the value of visual or sound or audiovisual recording equipment, payable and distributed through collecting societies. Copyright infringements are recognised as offences both in civil and penal law, and right holders are entitled to recover high amounts of damages in case of infringement.

The Hellenic Copyright Organisation (OPI), a legal entity under private law was established according to art. 69 of Law 2121/1993, to protect the authors and rightholders of related rights, to take steps toward implementation of Law 2121/1993 and the international conventions, to supervise the Collecting Societies and to undertake legal preparatory work on matters pertaining to copyright and related rights. In the context of its responsibilities, OPI deals with any issue in general that might occur in the field of copyright and related rights and represents Greece before the related international organisations, as well as the Instruments of the European Union.

A sui generis right on a hitherto unpublished work, such as an archaeological find, is conferred on the person who first brings it into the public domain or first publishes the work; conversely, according to legislation introduced in 2007, Ministry of Culture archaeologists entitled to a leave of absence for research are obliged to publish works under their control, or face specific career advancement strictures. Law 3028/2002 asserts a right of the Greek state over reproductions (photographic, digital or physical) of Greek monuments and cultural heritage objects under state ownership. In addition, Law 2524/2007 harmonises Greek IPR legislation with EU directives, establishes performance rights of original creators, provides for the operation of rights collectives and specifies an effective framework for enforcement against violations.

Chapter published: 14-08-2015

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