Two very important Court decisions concerning the field of intellectual property rights on media sector, which have been recently published, are expected to cause significant changes in that area. More particularly, a well- known journalist, director and producer filed injunction proceedings against two major Greek TV stations, requesting for the prohibition of the broadcasting/ use of parts of TV programs (shows), created by him, which have been transmitted without his permission by the above stations.
According to the facts of the case, one of the stations reproduced/ broadcasted parts of the TV shows while the second one broadcasted a pilot program, directed and produced by the applicant, without his permission and without compensation, as provided by the provisions of Greek Copyright Law. The court accepted the applicant’s claims and held that such acts constitute infringement of his financial and moral rights arising from copyright law. As a result the Court granted to the applicants provisional protection (which is effective until the issuance of a final court’s decision) prohibiting the use, publication, reproduction and advertising of the disputed parts of the TV programs.
Said court decision constitutes a major “break -through“ against the illegal practice and understanding of many users, according to which the partial use of an author’s work was considered to be permitted on the basis of a broad and obviously wrong interpretation of the limitation provided under article 19 of Greek Copyright Act which stipulates that “quotation of short extracts of a lawfully published work by an author for the purpose of providing support for a case advanced by the person making the quotation or a critique of the position of the author shall be permissible without the consent of the author and without payment, if the quotation is compatible with fair practice, the extent of the extracts does not exceed that justified by the purpose and the quotation is accompanied by an indication of the source of the extract”.
It seems that Greek Courts are now willing to stop the above practice which, in certain cases, has proved to be extremely harmful for the authors’ rights.
A. & K. Metaxopoulos and Partners Law Firm
Irini Daroussou – Partner
Anna Vassalou – Junior Associate