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.

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