New technology

Historically, copyright law depended on its birth directly from the development of technology. It is common ground in the theory of intellectual property law that the invention of typography was a milestone in intellectual property law in conjunction with the cultural and philosophical current that followed. In particular, the forerunners of intellectual property rights were the so-called "privileges" granted by state authorities, first to printers, publishers, booksellers, and later to creators. The technical developments made it possible to reproduce the works without the mediation and remuneration of their original creator, resulting in the immediate need to provide protection to the creators against the risk of not being paid for their work. At the same time, due to technological development and socio-economic needs, new forms of protected works were created, such as photography, cinematographic works, computer programs, databases, multimedia, as well as new means of publication - distribution of all works by radio. and television to the internet. In particular, it is worth noting the following in relation to some new technology projects that are protected by copyright.

Computer programs

Law 2121/1993 harmonized Greek law with Community Directive 250/91 on the legal protection of computer programs. Both the computer programs and their preparatory material are considered speech projects. The computer program is protected in any form of expression, either when it is in machine code or in source code. A clear definition of a computer program does not exist in law, following the example of the Directive, so that the concept is open to adaptations that may arise from technological developments. The ideas and principles on which the program and its components are based, including those on which its interconnection programs are based, are not protected. The preparatory material for the design of a program shall be protected in accordance with the preamble to the relevant Community Directive "provided that the nature of the preparatory work is such that the computer program can be derived from it at a later stage […]". Greek case law has specifically accepted that the general concept of software includes: a) the computer program, b) the program description (preparatory material) and c) the accompanying material. The description of the program according to the Greek courts includes the stage of its elaboration, part and that of the general idea of the software defined by the standard instructions as a complete representation of a process in linguistic, schematic or other form, the elements of which are sufficient to define a series of instructions, which will make up the final program and with the help of which its final elaboration can be done. The accompanying material or application documentation includes the instructions to the user, comments, remarks and notes that explain the handling of the program [ΠΠρΘεσσ 18201/1998, ΣυνΕφΑθ 2949/2003]. Typical cases of preparatory material are the list of commands and the flowchart. In the Internet environment, so-called "browsers", search engines, e-mail software and the special software used to activate the hyperlinks.


The Greek legislator, although in the original legislation for the protection of P.I. already contained a reference to the databases, has now adopted (a.2§2a) the definition of the database given in the Community Directive 96/9, which it incorporated with Law 2819/2000.

According to this definition, databases are considered: "collections of works, data or other independent data, arranged in a systematic or methodical way and individually accessible by electronic means or otherwise". It is clarified that in order for the electronic databases to be subject to the above concept, it is not required to store the individual data contained in a material carrier.

It does not matter, in principle, whether the contents of the database are independently protected by copyright or not. The data does not have to be copyrighted or copyrighted or similar. The same protection is enjoyed, for example, by the legal database of the National Printing Office, which includes legislation published in the Official Gazette, which as state texts do not enjoy independent protection, and the database of Heal link, which contains protected scientific publications.

In order for copyright to be protected, a database is required by law to select or arrange for its contents to constitute an intellectual property. No other criteria are required to provide protection. This protection does not extend to the contents of the databases and does not affect any of the rights that exist in that content. Therefore, in a database that contains other copyrighted works, such as photographs, database protection remains independent of the protection of photographs.

With regard to databases, a sui generis right has been recognized in their maker of databases, ie the natural or legal person who takes the initiative and bears the risk of the investment. The term "manufacturer" of the database was intentionally used instead of the term producer to distinguish it from the contractor who can implement it. The purpose of introducing this special right is to protect the financial and professional investment of the manufacturer against the appropriation of the results of this investment by third parties.

In particular, a.45A provides that: "the manufacturer of the database has the right to prohibit the export and / or re-use of all or a substantial part of the contents of the database, evaluated qualitatively or quantitatively, provided that the acquisition, control or presentation of the contents of the database demonstrate a substantial qualitative or quantitative investment ".

The builder of the database does not have to be the same as the creator of the database, without being excluded. A creator under our national law can only be a natural person, while a "manufacturer" can be either a natural or a legal person. The creator has the absolute and exclusive right attributed to him in article 3 of the law. Specifically: "The creator of the database has the exclusive right to allow or prohibit: a) the temporary or permanent reproduction of the database by any means and format, in whole or in part, b) translation, adaptation, arrangement and any other conversion of the database; (c) any form of distribution of the database or copies thereof to the public. (D) any announcement, demonstration or presentation of the database to the public; (e) any reproduction, distribution, announcement, demonstration or presentation to the public of the results of the operations referred to in point (b). " When the creator and manufacturer are the same person, then he enjoys cumulatively the double protection provided in articles 45A and 3 of law 2121/1993.


The law is not explicitly mentioned in the media. Their widespread development and widespread use today, however, has brought to the fore the issue of their protection under copyright law. The practical problems that arise are due to the difficulty of including them in one of the traditional categories of copyright law works. Usually the individual creators are easy to detect and the relationships between them are regulated by contract. However, finding the subject of the rights is not enough, if the object of the rights cannot be identified, ie the category of the work on which any rights exist. The theory varies between characterizing multimedia as either audiovisual works or databases. Multimedia can be defined as products or services that combine in a single entity, in digital form, at least two different types of works or data (texts, sounds, images, etc.), while at the same time providing their user with the ability to interact with the content. with the help of a software (E. Stamatoudi, "The protection of multimedia as software, databases or audiovisual works" (2001) Chronicles of Private Law pp. 785 - 791, and I. Stamatoudi, Multimedia products as copyright works, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2002).


The protection of websites as stand-alone projects moves in the same context. First of all, a website in most cases contains other works, such as software, images, texts and sounds, which, if they meet the requirements of the law, will be protected independently. A work is equally protected whether it is embedded in a carrier material (eg printed or cd), or it is on a website (eg a photo enjoys the same protection whether it is printed in a newspaper or presented on a newspaper's web site). The use of any digital online project is subject to the provisions of the law, just as it is available in any offline form.

The website itself can be autonomously protected as a project even without falling into one of the mentioned indicative categories of projects of no. 2 L.2121 / 93. In some cases it could fall within the meaning of the database while alternatively some parts of it (which make it up) could be protected as projects, if they meet the requirements of the law.

The website owner, its legal owner, who is usually identified with the registrant of the domain name in question, does not automatically acquire a special right, such as that of the database builder, unless that website is part of the database. data. Any rights to the contents of the website will arise either from the fact that he has created the standalone works and is therefore the primary beneficiary, or from the transfer agreements of the property rights to the individual works that he has concluded with their original creators. , in which case he will be a secondary beneficiary.

It should be emphasized that ideas, procedures, methods of operation or mathematical concepts per se are not protected under copyright law.

Some products that are not protected by copyright may be protected in other ways, such as industrial property or unfair competition.

The main difference between copyright law and industrial property law is that the former protects the expression of an idea if it is perceived in the human senses, while the latter protects the ideas if they are new and in the case of inventions susceptible. industrial application.