Copyright Greece

The copy right law in Greece is governed by the Greek Copyright Act, 1993
The original creators of works protected by copyright, and their heirs, have certain basic rights. They hold the exclusive right to use or authorize others to use the work on agreed terms. The creator of a work can prohibit or authorize:
  1. its reproduction in various forms, such as printed publication or sound recording;
  2. its public performance, as in a play or musical work;
  3. recordings of it, for example, in the form of compact discs, cassettes or videotapes;
  4. its broadcasting, by radio, cable or satellite;
  5. its translation into other languages, or its adaptation, such as a novel into a screenplay.
Authors shall have, with the creation of the work, the right of copyright in that work, which includes, as exclusive and absolute rights, the right to exploit the work (economic right) and the right to protect their personal connection with the work (moral right).
The economic rights of the author may include the right to permit or prohibit:
  1. the fixation and reproduction of the work by any means, such as mechanical, photochemical or electronic means;
  2. the translation of the work;
  3. the arrangement, adaptation or other alteration of the work;
  4. the distribution of the original or copies of the work via a transfer of ownership, a rental arrangement or public lending, and, notably with reference to the use of' copies, the imposition of limiting conditions on a transfer of ownership or a rental or public lending arrangement;
  5. the communication of the work to the public;
  6. the public performance of the work;
  7. the broadcasting or rebroadcasting of the work to the public by radio or television, by wireless means or by cable or by any kind of wire or by any other means, in parallel to the surface of the earth or by satellite;
  8. the import of copies of the work produced abroad without the creator's consent or the import of copies from a country outside the European Community when the right over such imports had been retained by the author through contract.
The moral rights shall confer upon the author notably the following rights:
  1. to decide on the time, place and manner in which the work shall be made accessible to the public (publication);
  2. to demand that his status as the author of the work be acknowledged and, in particular, to the extent that it is possible, that his name be indicated on the copies of his work and noted whenever his work is used publicly, or, on the contrary, if he so wishes, that his work be presented anonymously or under a pseudonym;
  3. to prohibit any distortion, mutilation or other modification of his work and any offense to the author due to the circumstances of the presentation of the work in public;
  4. to have access to his work, even when the economic right in the work or the physical embodiment of the work belongs to another person; in those latter cases, the access shall be effected with minimum possible nuisance to the right holder;
  5. in the case of a literary or scientific work, to rescind a contract transferring the economic right or an exploitation contract or license of which his work is the object, subject to payment of material damages to the other contracting party, for the pecuniary loss he has sustained, when the author considers such action to be necessary for the protection of his personality because of changes in his beliefs or in the circumstances.
The moral rights are independent from the economic rights and remain with the author even after the transfer of the economic rights.
Whenever an original work of fine art is resold at a public auction or by an art dealer or through the mediation of an art dealer, the author of the work and his heirs shall have the right to demand a share of 5 per cent of the selling price. This right shall not be transferable between living persons.
The amount shall be rendered by the organizer of the public auction or by the art dealer.
Each year, when requested, organizers of public auctions and art dealers are obliged to provide the Fine Arts Chamber of Greece and the fine arts collecting societies with exact information regarding the works sold by them, or through their intervention, and on the sale prices of such works, during the preceding calendar year.
The author of the work may conclude contracts, by which he entrusts economic rights to the other contracting party (Exploitation Contracts).
The author of the work may authorize another person to exercise economic rights (Exploitation Licenses).
  1. It is permissible for a person to make a reproduction of a lawfully published work for his own private use, without the consent of the author and without payment.
  2. The reproduction of lawfully published literary works of one or more writers in educational textbooks approved for use in primary and secondary education by the Ministry of National Education and Religion or another competent ministry, according to the official detailed syllabus, shall be permissible without the consent of the authors and without payment.
  3. It is permissible, without the consent of the author and without payment, to reproduce articles lawfully published in a newspaper or periodical, short extracts of a work or parts of a short work or a lawfully published work of fine art work exclusively for teaching or examination purposes at an educational establishment.
  4. It is permissible, without the consent of the author and without payment, for a nonprofit-making library or archive to reproduce one additional copy from a copy of the work already in their permanent collection.
  5. In cases where the holder of the economic right abusively withholds consent for the reproduction of a cinematographic work of special artistic value, for the purpose of preserving it in the National Cinematographic Archive, the reproduction is permissible without his consent and without payment, subject to a decision by the Minister of Culture, taken in conformity with the prior opinion of the Cinematography Advisory Council.
  6. The reproduction of a work for use in judicial or administrative procedures shall be permitted without the consent of the author and without payment.
  7. The following acts of reproduction is permissible without the consent of the author and without payment:
    1. a. for the purpose of reporting current events by the mass media, the reproduction and communication to the public of works seen or heard in the course of the event;
    2. for the purpose of giving information on current events, the reproduction and communication to the public by the mass media of political speeches, addresses, sermons, legal speeches or other works of the same nature, as well as of summaries or extracts of lectures, provided the said works are delivered in public.
  8. The presentation of a fine art work to the public, and its reproduction in catalogs to the extent necessary to promote its sale is permissible, without the consent of the author and without payment.
  1. Copyright in a work shall last for the whole of the author's lifetime and for 70 years after his death, computed from the end of the year of death.
  2. The Works of Joint Authorship shall last for the lifetime of the last surviving author and for 70 years after his death, computed from the end of the Year of death.
  3. Copyright in works published anonymously or pseudonymously shall last for 70 years, computed from the end of the year in which the work was lawfully published for the first time, unless the author discloses his identity before the expiry of that period.
Duration of protection in computer Programs
Protection shall be granted for the life of the author of the computer program and for 50 years after his death, computed from the end of the year of the author's death.
Civil Sanctions
Infringement of copyright or of related rights the author or right holder shall be entitled to
  1. demand the recognition of his right,
  2. the suppression of the infringement and
  3. the omission of the infringement in the future.
A person who intentionally or negligently infringes copyright or a related right of another person shall indemnify that person for the moral damage caused, and be liable for the payment of damages of not less than twice the legally required or normally payable remuneration for the form of exploitation which the infringing party has effected without license.
For each act of omission contributing to an infringement, the court may impose a fine of from 300,000 to 1 million drachmas payable to the author or to the right holder of the related rights.
Criminal Sanctions
Any person who, in contravention of the provisions of this Law or of the provisions of lawfully ratified international conventions on the protection of copyright,
  1. unlawfully makes a fixation of a work or reproduces an original or a translation or an adaptation of a work, or distributes a work or possesses a work with the intent of distributing it, or infringes restrictions on the use of a work, or presents a work to the public, or performs a work in public, or broadcasts a work by radio or television, or in any way exploits a work which is the object of copyright shall be liable to imprisonment of not less than one year and to a fine of from 1 to 5 million drachmas.

If the financial gain sought or the damage caused by the perpetration of an act listed is particularly great, the sanction shall be not less than two years imprisonment and a fine of from 2 to 10 million drachmas.