Intellectual property rights in Greece

  • Awareness
  • 20/04/2017
  • Greek Safer Internet Centre

Very often, technology is one step ahead of legislation and this makes the protection of intellectual property (IP), as well as the elimination of online piracy - especially on the internet, highly complex issues. In order to raise awareness about these topics, UNESCO designated 23 April as World Book and Copyright Day, and 26 April World Intellectual Property Day.

One way to help tackle these issues is by raising awareness and increasing education initiatives especially targeting children. In Greece, both at school and at home, children lack the necessary education concerning the respect for intellectual property. Most of them have difficulties when it comes to appreciating the importance of intellectual property for society, the global economy and the preservation of culture. When it comes to uploading, downloading and sharing content, they are often not aware of what is and what is not appropriate.

Currently there are no specific studies in Greece about young people's perception of intellectual property protection or whether they can properly understand its importance for inventors, creators and performing artists when it comes to protecting their rights and being paid for their work.

According to the Hellenic Copyright Organization (OPI), young Greeks follow European trends on this matter. More specifically, according to a 2016 EU-wide survey conducted by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) among 26,555 young Europeans, 83 per cent have a clear preference for using legal means to access online content when an affordable option is available. Among respondents admitting to using illegal sources, price and availability of legal sources prevail as the main drivers for such behaviour, as 31 per cent of respondents believe that it is acceptable to obtain content illegally when no direct legal alternative is available. Overall, this recent study shows that many citizens support initiatives protecting IP rights, although there is ample room for improvement in helping young people in particular to understand the economic rationale of IP and the social impact of infringements. Despite the growing use of legal options, there is still a general perception that the market is not providing services that meet the expectations of this age group in terms of price and affordability.

About OPI – The Hellenic Copyright Organization
The Hellenic Copyright Organization (OPI) is a legal entity operating under private law and placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. Its main purpose is to protect authors and rightsholders, to take steps towards the implementation of laws and international conventions, to supervise the Collecting Societies and to undertake legal preparatory work on matters pertaining to copyright and related rights. Generally speaking, in the context of its responsibilities, OPI deals with any issue that might occur in the field of copyright and related rights. OPI equally represents Greece before competent international organisations and the instruments of the European Union.

Due to the recognition of the important role of the education in raising awareness about copyright protection, OPI created the website, containing educational material such as e-games, crosswords, a FAQ section, printed materials, and so on. All this material is particularly useful for teachers who intend to implement OPI's Educational Programme in the classroom and parents. The training programme aims to raise awareness among students about the importance of copyright for modern societies and for the development of creativity and culture.

Additionally, OPI has created with the support of EUIPO an animated short film about Orpheus, a multitalented octopus, who generously offers his work to other inhabitants of the deep sea. The video aims to help children understand the serious societal implications of copyright infringement. Respecting and protecting IP guarantees that more intellectual works will be created, performed and distributed. Furthermore, it fosters civility, civic education, social responsibility and refinement.

Want to know more about intellectual property? Take a look at this presentation about intellectual property rights and copyright issues from the Greek Safer Internet Centre.

Find out more about the work of the Greek Safer Internet Centre, including its awareness raising centre, helpline, hotline and youth participation services.

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