A work protected by copyright is a creation of the mind in literature, art or science, provided the work is original – in the sense of ‘statistical uniqueness’ – and the work is expressed in any possible form.
Intellectual Property right (copyright) is regulated by the Greek Intellectual Property Law No. 2121/1993, as amended by subsequent provisions of different laws. The jurisdiction in Greece is a civil law jurisdiction and the protection of a copyright involves the combined protection of two rights owned by the author or creator: (a) protection of the ‘moral right’, which is explained as the right of protecting the personal bond of the author/creator with his/her work; and (b) protection of the ‘economic right’, namely of the right of the author/creator to exploit his/her work.
A work protected by copyright is a creation of the mind in literature, art or science, provided the work is original – in the sense of ‘statistical uniqueness’ – and the work is expressed in any possible form. The law provides only examples of types of works that can be protected by copyright, such as: texts, translations, adaptations, musical compositions, theatrical plays, choreographies, audiovisual woks, paintings, sculptures, architectural projects, photographs, maps, three-dimensional works of geography, topography, architecture or science, etc. However, ideas, thoughts, principles, methods, theories or concepts are not covered by copyright protection, unless they are originally represented in a concrete appearance (e.g. a novel, software, an architectural work, a music recording, etc.). Only their appearance will be protected.
Copyright arises from the moment the work is created, and no registration or other formality is required. However, it is a common practice to attach a copyright notice to the work with the purpose of informing others of the existence of copyright, reducing the likelihood of a potential infringement. Usually, this notice includes the symbol © together with the year in which the work has been created. The protection is valid worldwide. The main issue for the copyright owner is to prove the creation date and it is recommended that he/she seeks to obtain any official document from its domicile country stating that date. Any formal publication of the work is protectable, provided the date is proven by a public authority. There is no central registry for copyrighted works in Greece.
According to the basic rule, the author is the person who created the work and he/she is the only owner of all rights on the work, unless the work was made following an agreement, or while working for an entity that is the owner of the ‘economic right’. It follows that only physical persons can be authors. Even if entities cannot be the authors, they can still obtain a copyright through transfer or license.
The duration of copyright is the life of the author plus seventy (70) years.
Artwork by Val Goutsi Fine Arts and Ceramics © 2022