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 one of its recent surveys, the World Customs Organization announced that 5% of world trade involves pirated products. The EU, respectively, noted that between 5% and 7% of global trade is piracy-based. OECD, on the other hand, estimates that losses suffered by the world trade due to piracy exceed its 5%. The same alarming figures show up in piracy-based job loss, with an annual estimate of 12.000 jobs in the United States and 100.000 in the European Union.

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. In the Observatory for Piracy (hereafter Observatory) that we have created all the actions realized by HCO during the last years are mentioned in detail.

The Observatory has gathered the entire relevant legal framework, the Greek and the one of European Union, the competent authorities, the Collecting and Collective Protection Societies, in national and international level, 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.

Steering Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (ref. no. Π48-7542/ΑΣ 3540/22.03.2008 Ministerial Decree Official Gazette B΄ 575/03.04.2008)

  1. Ministry of Interior

    • General Secretary
      • Directorate of the Organization and Functioning of Local Self-Government
  2. Ministry of Finance
    • General Secretary of Taxation and Customs
      • 33rd Directorate of Customs Control
    • Special Secretary for Financial and Economic Crime Unit (S.D.O.E.)
      • S.D.O.E.
  3. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    • General Secretary for International and Economic Relations and Development Co-operation
      • B6 Directorate of International Economic Organizations Monetary Affairs and Compensations
  4. Ministry of Economic Competitiveness and Shipping
    • General Secretary of Economic Competitiveness and Shipping
      • General Directorate of International Economic Relations, Directorate of International Trade Policy, Department C
    • General Secretary of Commerce
      • General Administration of International Commerce, Commercial Associations Administration, Department C
      • Directorate of Market Control and Supervision
      • Directorate of Commercial and Industrial Property
  5. Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs
  6. General Secretary for Research and Technology
    • Directorate of Technological Development, General Secretariat for Research and Technology
  7. Ministry of Royal Development and Food
    • General Secretary for Agricultural Policy and International Relations
      • Directorate of Agricultural Policy and Documentation
  8. Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights
    • General Secretary
      • Legislative Co-ordination and Special International Legal Relations
  9. Ministry of Citizen Protection
    • General Secretary of Public Order
      • Hellenic Police Headquarters, Security and Order Branch, Public Security division, Second Section
      • Security Division of Attica, Section of Economic Crime
  10. Ministry of Culture and Sports
    • General Secretary of Culture
  11. Municipality of Athens
    • Vice-Mayor of Shops and Security
      • Department of Business Planning
  12. Hellenic Copyright Organization

  13. Industrial Property Organisation

Supreme Court/Areios Pagos 114/2009, Legal Database NOMOS, Supreme Court/Areios Pagos 122/2009, Legal Database NOMOS, Supreme Court/Areios Pagos 1500/2006, PoinChron 2007, 704, Supreme Court/Areios Pagos 1273/2005, PoinLog 2005, 1195, Supreme Court/Areios Pagos 1899/2004, PoinLog 2004, 1899, Court of Appeal/Larissa 121/2006, Court of Appeal/Athens 2288/2003, PoinDik 2004, 941, Court of Appeal/Larissa 629/2002, PoinDik 2002, 1145, Misdemeanors Court /Athens 2271/2002, PoinDik 2002, 1164, Misdemeanors Court/Rhodes 26/2008, PoinChron 2008, 370.

Full list of Court Judgments: Electronic Library

  • EU Council endorses EU Customs action plan to combat IPR infringements.
  • New web page for the protection of IPR holders by the European Commission.

Copyright and Internet