Introduction

It is true that even nowadays a substantial proportion of the public is not familiar with the benefits that the protection of copyright and related rights confers on culture and economy. Consequently, the infringement of copyright and related rights, commonly known as ‘piracy’, is paradoxically considered as an acceptable act on the grounds that if so pervasive, it cannot be illegal. Within this framework, Hellenic Copyright Organization (HCΟ) regards it as essential that the public will be both informed and educated about the significance and value of copyright and related rights protection. Furthermore, in this respect, the attitude of the younger people towards copyright and related rights is of particular importance, since they constitute the principal users of the internet whereas the phenomena of piracy are predominantly taking place. In addition, they constitute the citizens and professionals of tomorrow, who will benefit in the future -as potential creators- from the protection of their rights over their works.

The Educational Programme

On this basis, HCO, had developed, in 2014, a training programme for Copyright in cooperation with a group of teachers (Thoma Ralia, Koumpoura Maria, Delis Ioannis, Sourtzi Marianna and Chaviara Eleanna), which was approved by the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, for the purpose of informing and raising students awareness -from all grades of primary school- of the significance of the work of the authors and related rights holders. Since then, the authorization of the programme by the Ministry is renewed on an annual basis with a view to informing both children and teachers of the value of copyright within the educational system and framework.

The same year, HCO organized a series of seminars in order to promote this programme, which addressed both to the Region officers responsible for school activities and to the teachers themselves which may choose and implement this educational programme into their classrooms. In all these seminars, a number of well - known artists participated which had therefore the opportunity -as the relevant stakeholders- to inform the instructors of the significance of their rights efficient and effective protection.

Greek Copyright School

In 2015, HCO, seeking to extend and enrich the action plan on promoting the programme, received financial contribution for this project by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). Thus, the ‘Greek Copyright School’ programme was initiated, including five lines of action:

  1. Information material printing and distribution to teachers and students (i.e. envelopes including guides for copyright and related rights, comics and stickers).
  2. Organization, arranging and conducting of training courses and seminars in a larger number of cities across Greece.
  3. Drawing up and design of a webpage where the relevant information material was classified in terms of the public it was specifically addressing to (primary or high school students, teachers and parents).
  4. Development of electronic educational games.
  5. Creation of an animated short film about the significance of copyright and related rights protection as regards as the dignity, independence and survival for creators and artists.


Greek Copyrights School logo

The school year 2015-2016, a series of seminars had taken place in Patras, Alexandroupoli, Xanthi, Larissa, Trikala, Mytilene, Pyrgos, Kalamata, Preveza and Ioannina within the ‘Greek Copyright School’ framework. More than 1.000 teachers participated in those seminars, while informational guidelines, comics and stickers were distributed.

The… international career of the ‘Greek Copyright School’

The implementation of ‘Greek Copyright School’ was particularly successful in terms both of the quality that the material created and distributed to the educational community displayed, and of the warm response that the teachers and students have shown during and following their in-person participation to the programme. In addition, the quality and success of the programme were also recognized and appreciated abroad since it had been presented as a model in its field four (4) times in the EUIPO’s meetings and fora and once (1) in a one-day conference held by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Last, the comments and overall feedback provided by the respective copyright organizations abroad were more than encouraging.

Today

Recognizing that the respect towards copyright and related rights is generated, cultivated and developed in the education realm, HCO continues to pursue its aim of informing and educating both teachers and students, in the hopes of implementing this program to even more educational establishments. HCO’s personnel are constantly responding to invitations from teachers and students from all over the country, organizing seminars, while also sending informational material at every opportunity.

You may get informed about all the relevant events and initiatives at the news section of copyrightschool.gr.

In addition, HCO calls all teachers to communicate with its qualified staff in order to assist them by any means in their own effort to spread the knowledge and raise students awareness as regards as the crucial and quite interesting copyright issues.

Your contribution to our efforts and work will be more than determinative!