In recent years there has been a remarkable effort to make Greece an attractive destination for the production of audiovisual works (eg, films, TV series and video games). The most important initiatives in this respect are the cash rebate state aid scheme, which covers 40% of eligible production costs, and the tax relief incentive, which covers 30% of eligible production costs.
In March 2020 Greece adopted a new Trademark Law in order to implement the EU Trademarks Directive into Greek law. By virtue of this new law, the Greek trademark regime is now largely similar to that of the European Union. The new Greek Trademark Law essentially follows EU Trademark Regulation (2017/1001), rendering the Greek legal system more familiar and friendly to foreign entities, many of which are already acquainted with the EU framework.
In copyright infringement cases, rights holders can claim both pecuniary and moral damages. According to Article 65(2) of Law 2121/1993 on Copyright, Related Rights and Cultural Matters, where an infringement was intentional or the result of negligence, the amount of damages (ie, compensation) cannot be lower than twice the remuneration that the infringer should have paid – under normal circumstances – for the legitimate acquisition of the relevant exploitation rights.
Defence strategies in copyright cases are, in principle, based on one of a number of grounds, including an objection as to whether a particular work falls under the protection of Law 2121/1993 on Copyright, Related Rights and Cultural Matters. For example, if a journalist sues a third party for copyright infringement, the defendant might claim that the journalist's work does not meet the criterion of originality if it contains only mere or actual information without any element of the author's personal contribution.
Greek copyright law does not provide for a fair use or fair dealing defence. Nevertheless, Law 2121/1993 on Copyright, Related Rights and Cultural Matters (the Copyright Law) contains an exhaustive list of specific statutory exceptions and limitations on authors' economic rights. A copyrightable work can be legally used without prior authorisation or payment if said use is covered by a specific exception or limitation stipulated by the Copyright Law and all legal requirements provided thereunder are met.
To constitute an original work of intellectual property and thus be protectable under the Copyright Law, a journalistic work must contain an element of individuality and personal contribution, particularly with regard to the selection, composition, elaboration and adaptation of its content. The form in which a journalistic work is presented to the public may also classify it under the protective category of a literary, audiovisual or photographic work if said form is a text, video or image.
Trading in pirated and counterfeit goods is widespread in many countries, including Greece. As such, the Trademark Law and the Copyright Law set out significant penalties (eg, long-term imprisonment) and high fines for anyone using, exploiting, putting on the market, selling, distributing or possessing with the intent to distribute to the public products that infringe the trademarks or copyrights of third parties.