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IRIS 1995-1:Extra


Copyright Act

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Athina Fragkouli

RIPE NCC, Amsterdam

Act 2121/1993 on Copyright, Related Rights and Cultural Matters came into effect on March 1993 replacing two statutes: one, dating from 1909, concerning dramatic works and one, dating from 1920, concerning author’s rights in general.

Act 2121/1993 provides an absolute and exclusive right over the work created by the author. It includes the right to exploit the work (economic right) and the right to protect authors’ personal connection to their work (moral right). The term “work” is defined as including any original intellectual creation expressed in any form, including alterations of other works as well as collections of works, provided that the selection or the arrangement of such collections is original. The implementation of Directives 91/250/EEC and 96/9/EC expanded copyright protection to computer programmes and databases.

The initial owner of the economic and moral rights over a work is, without resort to any formality, the author of the work. The economic rights are transferable by the author, but moral rights will only be transferred upon the death of the author to his/her heirs.

The Greek Copyright Law limits the author’s economic right so that a person may without the author’s consent:

- reproduce the work for private use. Private use does not include use by an enterprise, a service or an organisation according to the law;

- quote short experts from the work, provided that the author’s name is indicated;

- reproduce the work in official educational textbooks and for teaching purposes, as well as for a non-for-profit library or archive, if a copy cannot be promptly obtained;

- reproduce a cinematographic work of special artistic value, if the rightsholder abusively withdraws consent for the reproduction;

- reproduce a work for judicial or administrative purposes and for information purposes;

- use images of works situated in public places, perform or present the work publicly on special occasions and exhibit and present works of fine art for the purposes of museums;

- reproduce for the benefit of blind and the deaf-mute;

The term of protection of copyright in Greece encompasses the whole of the author’s life and seventy years after his/her death.

The Act also outlines related rights and in particular the rights of performers, publishers, producers of sound and visual recordings, and radio or television organisations. The term of protection for related rights lasts for fifty years after a certain designated event.

Finally, the Act regulates the measures take can be taken to prevent infringement and the sanctions imposed in case of an infringement, which can be of civil or criminal character. In particular, a copyright infringer can be liable to imprisonment for one year and to a fine ranging from EUR 2,900 to EUR 15,000.

Νόμος Υπ’ Αριθμόν 2121/93 περί πνευματικής ιδιοκτησίας, συγγενικών δικαιωμάτων και πολιτιστικών θεμάτων, ΦΕΚ Α' 25, 4 Μαρτίου 1993 EL
  Law 2121/1993 on Copyright, Related Rights and Cultural Matters, Official Gazette A-25/4 March 1993 EN