Piracy - a term that in colloquial language expresses the infringement of intellectual property rights (IPR) - refers to the manufacture, distribution and selling of unauthorized copies (pirated copies) of material protected by intellectual property rights. Copyright piracy is demonstrated in various forms and pertains mainly to the sectors of music, audiovisual works, computer programs, publications and radio/television broadcasts.

Piracy of IPR protected assets is a global phenomenon, which has assumed alarming proportions. In the 2019 Status Report on IPR Infringement by EUIPO, it reported that the total contribution of IPR-intensive industries to the EU economy accounts for approximately 42% of GDP (€5.7 trillion euros) and 28% of employment. Those sectors also generate a trade surplus of approximately €96 billion euros with the rest of the world and pay their workers 46% higher salaries than other sectors.

Because of the high value associated with IPR, infringement of those rights is a lucrative criminal activity, which generates significant costs to the rights owners and to the economy in general.

According to a study carried out by EUIPO and the OECD in 2019, estimates of IPR infringement in international trade in 2016 could reach as much as 3.3% of world trade. Up to 6.8% of EU imports, or €121 billion euros per year, consist of fake goods. Both sets of figures are significantly higher than those found in study by the two organisations published in 2016, indicating that the problem has grown even more serious in recent years.

Some of the most significant effects of piracy and counterfeiting in our country are the following:

  • Loss of revenues for the Greek State, resulting from the reduction in VAT and customs duty collection
  • Loss of employment
  • Restraint of the development of cultural industry and other related industries
  • Decrease to the investment of new funds
  • Imperilment to consumer protection
  • Inability to enforce relevant laws and to implement international obligations
  • Endangering the country's prestige

The Hellenic Copyright Organization (HCO) has developed numerous actions for reducing and gradually eliminating the phenomenon of piracy of copyrighted works and continues to be active in this field.

The Observatory has gathered the entire relevant legal framework, on a national and a European Union level, the competent authorities, the relevant national case law and the latest developments concerning copyright infringements. Finally, a number of useful links national, European and international is given.

Τhe Observatory is a dynamic webpage constantly updated regarding the latest developments.

Committee for the Notification of Copyright and Related Rights Infringement on the Internet (ΕDPPI)