Είναι δύσκολη δουλειά ο εκφοβισμός. Από την μια πρέπει να τρομοκρατείς με “στοιχεία” από την άλλη να μην γίνεσαι πολύ συγκεκριμένος και χαθεί η μαγεία του αόριστης απειλής που έχεις κατασκευάσει. Άλλο να βγάζεις δελτία τύπου στην Ελλάδα και να τα παπαγαλίζουν οι δημοσιογραφίσκοι που πληρώνεις και άλλο να καταθέτεις επίσημη γνωμάτευση για την Αμερικανική κυβέρνηση. Όταν ήρθε η ώρα λοιπόν να καταθέσουν για το 301 (επίσημη διαδικασία) οι παρατρεχάμενοι στην Ελλάδα μας έβαλαν και πάλι στο “σκέτο” watch list. (Μόνο μεταξύ 1996 και 2000 η χώρα μας ήταν στο “priority watch list” Μόλις υπογράψαμε να χρησιμοποιεί όλο το κράτος προϊόντα Microsoft βγήκαμε!)
Ενώ δηλαδή Κίνα, Ρωσία, Αλγερία, Αργεντινή, Καναδάς, Χιλή, Ινδονησία, Ισραήλ, Πακιστάν, Ταϋλάνδη και Βενεζουέλα θεωρούνται σοβαρές απειλές ως προς την πειρατεία, (priority watch list) η Ελλάδα είναι στο άλλο κλαμπ μαζί με την Φινλανδία, την Ιταλία και την Νορβηγία. (Σκέτο “watch list”.)
Απολαύστε το πλήρες κείμενο που έστειλαν από Ελλάδα. Παραδέχονται ότι δεν υπάρχει πρόβλημα σε κάποια συγκεκριμένη περιοχή της Ελλάδας και ότι πολλές μορφές πειρατείας έχουν μειωθεί τα τελευταία χρόνια. Για μια ακόμα φορά δείχνει ξεκάθαρα ότι τους μόνους που ενδιαφέρονται να “βοηθήσουν” είναι τους δημόσιους υπάλληλους που θέλουν να επιφορτίσουν με το έργο της είσπραξης των χρημάτων τους! “Εκπαίδευση του ΣΔΟΕ” είναι σαν να λέμε “πληρώστε Έλληνες για να βάλουμε δικούς σας ανθρώπους να εισπράττουν για εμάς”…
Επιπλέον δείχνει ότι το θέμα p2p κατέβασμα (πχ ταινιών) το έχει αναλάβει κάποιο ” DC Internet Enforcement team”.
Response by: Eva Dimitroula, Zannos – Papapanagiotou – Sarafianos Law Firm Response date: 12/7/2011 11:55:47 AM
INFORMATION REQUEST on COPYRIGHT PIRACY/LAW/ENFORCEMENT/LAW REFORM/MARKET ACCESS for 2012 IIPA Special 301 COUNTRY REPORTS
- I. PROPOSE REQUESTED ACTIONS FOR 2012
As regards software piracy, the government should:
- Support the Administrative Enforcement Authorities (Tax Police – SDOE and Police) by providing them with sufficient technical infrastructure and trained personnel to expand the work they are doing against s/w piracy.
- Oblige SDOE to perform specific numbers of audits per year and publicize all the results by posting them on its website, which is currently inactivate.
- Support SDOE’s PR Department in order to organize interviews in the newspapers and press releases regarding SDOE’s actions against piracy.
- Oblige SDOE to publish monthly statistics on the number of such raids and the administrative fines imposed and proceed with a more systematic follow-up of warning letters and more raids against non-responsive companies.
- Publicly commit to fight software piracy, an action that would increase public awareness regarding the risks of using illegal unlicensed software and codify the government’s commitment to protect intellectual property.
- Encourage Government Ministries and agencies to legalize business s/w usage in public agencies.
- Establish specialized IPR courts in all the Greek cities to improve judicial expertise and help make proceedings less time-consuming.
- II. INFORMATION SOUGHT
1. STATE OF PIRACY IN THIS COUNTRY – RECENT CHANGES/EXPECTATIONS FOR 2012
a. Has there been any specific change in the nature and scope of piracy in your industry in this country over THE PAST YEAR?
a2. If yes, in what way has the nature or scope of piracy changed?
There is an increase of internet software piracy.
a3. Which form of piracy is hurting your markets the most?
Business end-user piracy of software.
Are piracy levels getting better/worse?
About the same.
a4. Why is piracy about the same compared to last year?
The software piracy rate in Greece increased by one percentage point in 2010, compared to 2009, reaching 59% due to the lack of the administrative enforcement activities in 2010 and the financial crisis that hit Greece. This rate is estimated to have remained at the same level in 2011. The commercial value of software piracy in Greece was estimated to be €227.000.000,00 ($ 305,603,000) in 2010, which translates to fewer job opportunities and decreased revenues for local IT businesses. Since s/w piracy is estimated at the same level in 2011, local IT businesses are still facing huge financial problems, in addition to the effects of the economic crisis that has hit Greece.
However, in April 2010, a new department, specializing in IPR protection, was established within the Greek Tax Police (art. 80 Law 3842/2010), which has the authority to conduct raids and impose administrative fines on infringers. According to the Greek IPR law, there is a fine of €1.000,00 for each illegal software copy used and € 20,00 for each illegal sound recording that is distributed by street vendors.
This Department was activated in the beginning of 2011 and has already conducted 14 raids (end – users and resellers) against small and medium companies in Athens and Thessaloniki. It has imposed administrative fines of approximately 9.000.000 Euros on infringers.
Furthermore, in September 2011, the Directorate of Planning and Co-ordination of Audits that also operates within SDOE sent 3.216 audit letters to Greek companies requesting: a) s/w inventory list, b) copy of s/w invoices and c) s/w licenses, in order to check their s/w compliance. The above companies were classified under the object of their activity as follows: a) construction/ architectural/ engineering companies, b) publishing/advertising/design companies, c) pharmaceuticals/ medical companies and d) internet cafes.
Moreover, in February 2011, (art. 4c of Presidential Decree 9/2011) a new Copyright Protection Department was established within the Cybercrime Unit of the Greek Financial Police (part of the Greek Police and independent from the Ministry of Finance), authorized to conduct raids in order to fight internet copyright infringement. This Department was activated in August 2011 and has already conducted raids against operators of websites with illegal copyright products.
In spite of the above-mentioned activation of the Public Enforcement Authorities in Greece in regard to the combating of software piracy, piracy is likely to remain at the same level compared to last year, due to the economical crisis that the country is facing the last two years and the lack of publicity in respect to SDOE’s actions against s/w piracy, as described above.
a5. Are piracy problems particularly acute in any specific regions in Greece?
a6. Please identify the regions/localities where software piracy problems are particularly severe. There are no specific regions were software problems are particularly severe.
- To the extent that it is relevant to BSA’s program in Greece, please describe the level and locale of hard goods piracy, OD piracy, and street piracy.
Such forms of piracy are declining every year because of the rapid increase of the end-users’ connections to the Internet, especially in Athens and Thessaloniki where the access to the Internet is higher compared to the other Greek cities.
- Describe the recent growth of Internet-based piracy in this market for your industry. Describe fully the nature of this piracy for your industry (Internet or mobile) and any and all other forms of piracy? Does the digital piracy occur via illegal sites, P2P, via hyperlinks, cyber-lockers, or something else? What about topsites?
- Are any local ISPs cooperating with rightholders on internet actions in the “hosted” environment? If not, why not? Are they cooperating in the P2P/filesharing environment and, if so, what are they doing?
d2. Please describe any discussions/negotiations that are underway in Greece concerning the role of ISPs in reducing online infringement (e.g., is the government involved in facilitating discussions or contemplating legislation).
d3. Has the government of Greece enacted, or is it contemplating legislation on ISP liability, notice and takedown, graduated response, etc?
- Any quantitative information that you could provide on the adverse effect of Internet piracy on your industry that we could include in our report would be most appreciated. What is happening in your legitimate commercial market? (e.g. numbers/ anecdotes/sales/jobs lost, etc). What is your estimate of losses to piracy?
Do you quantify losses to “Internet/mobile piracy?” Specific industry “losses” may be difficult to estimate with respect to Internet piracy.
BSA does not compute piracy rates/losses that are specific to Internet piracy.
- Describe any other unique piracy problems for your industry in this country. No opinion.
- On a scale of 0 to 10, how would you rate the overall situation in this country regarding copyright protection and enforcement (0 = very poor; 10 = excellent)?
- On a scale of 0 to 10 please indicate the extent to which copyright protection and enforcement is improving or worsening (less than 5 = worsening; 5 = no change; more than 5 = improving).
- To what extent does piracy in this country affect markets outside of this country (0 = no effect; 5 = severe damages)?
i2. Which markets (if any) are affected? [No Response]
2. ENFORCEMENT – RECENT CHANGES & EXPECTATIONS FOR 2012
- Please describe your relationship with the enforcement authorities in Greece. In 2011, has this relationship improved/worsened/remained the same, compared to the prior year?
BSA’s relationship with the Tax Police – SDOE was strengthened during 2011, compared to previous years, due to the fact that SDOE focused its activities on combating s/w piracy as explained above. Several meetings have been made between BSA and the Heads of SDOE’s Directorates discussing SDOE’s plan and actions in respect to the s/w protection.
- Please provide statistics on raids and court actions brought (criminal, administrative, civil, border) and the type of piracy addressed (e.g., end user, hard goods, Internet).
The IPR Department of the Greek Tax Police has conducted 14 raids — 7 in Athens and 7 in Thessaloniki -from the beginning of 2011 up until the beginning of December. Eleven of them (5 in Athens; 6 in Thessaloniki) were conducted against end – user targets and 3 of them (2 in Athens; 1 in Thessaloniki) against resellers.
The IPR Department of the Greek Police has conducted a small number of raids so far. We are not yet provided with the exact number of the above mentioned raids, however we are aware that one of them
was conducted against the operators of a website with illegal copies of s/w, movies, PC games and music products and that another one was conducted against the operators of a website with unlicensed movie subtitles.
In relation to civil actions against end – users before the courts, we did not face any difficulties as regards the granting of the ex parte search orders and no civil law suits were heard because all cases were settled.
One court decision was issued in respect of an application for interim measures concerning a s/w copyright violation and ordering the discontinuance of the illegal use of the s/w products.
Only one civil law suit was filed in August 2011 before a county One – Membered Court of First – Instance and its hearing date is in October 2012.
b2. Are the police and customs authorities taking any ex officio actions? Are the dedicated prosecutors and police taking effective action? If not, why not and what needs to be done?
In 2000, the Greek Tax Police circulated instructions to all of its inspectors to include IPR, including s/w compliance, as part of their regular audits. However, as regards s/w protection, the SDOE inspectors do not always have the technical knowledge to conduct s/w audits.
The new Special IPR department of SDOE and the IPR Department of the Police’s Cybercrime Unit have the right to conduct ex officio s/w raids. They also operate a hotline that receives complaints about s/w infringers and after evaluating the respective information they proceed with an audit.
The above departments’ actions are effective enough, taking into account the difficulties they face (see answer to the next question), however they should both increase the number of the raids conducted.
c. What is/are the primary enforcement problems/bottlenecks in Greece for end user piracy (e.g., the police/other administrative authority, or courts)?
ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITIES: They lack of trained personnel and technical infrastructure. More specifically, SDOE’s IPR unit consists of a small number of officials that do not have sufficient IT knowledge. Furthermore, the Department’s offices in Athens also lack of the necessary technical equipment, such as computers. Police’s IPR unit also lacks of trained personnel.
COURTS: Although the ex parte search orders are still granted without major difficulties, the delays in respect to both the hearing procedure of the copyright cases before the courts and the issuance of the respective courts’ decisions, have become inordinate in 2011.
c2. Please describe in detail your local efforts to seek enforcement in Greece and the outcomes of your efforts.
BSA had several meetings with SDOE’s Heads in order to focus their activities on the combating of s/w piracy in Greece.
An IT training seminar was also provided to SDOE’s officials.
BSA’s technical experts also assisted in the execution of the administrative raids.
BSA conducted 5 raids at end – user targets, sent 22 warning letters and signed 12 settlement agreements with infringers. Seven of these settlements were signed with targets that were caught in BSA raids and 5 of them were signed with infringers caught by SDOE. These actions also produced significant legalization sales.
- What is/are the primary enforcement impediments in Greece for addressing Internet piracy? Are there impediments to collecting information on instances of infringement? Please describe.
No opinion because BSA does not deal with Internet Piracy in Greece.
- Are there circumvention problems in the country, e.g. mod chip manufacturing, importation? Other circumvention devices?
No opinion because BSA does not deal with Internet Piracy in Greece.
- Are there criminal law (and/or administrative, if applicable) procedural obstacles affecting Internet investigations and prosecutions? Please describe with specificity – also, are new prosecutors and police units facing procedural or political obstacles?
- Describe your opinion of the overall judicial system in Greece, and the means, if any, by which to improve judicial attention to IPR cases involving end user piracy?
The overall Greek judicial system remains ineffective, inefficient and the procedures are time-consuming as mentioned above. Court decisions are inconsistent from region to region, and often judges show alack of knowledge in sophisticated IPR issues.
The Greek government should establish specialized IPR courts in all Greek regions in order for the judges to be expert in the copyright law and to make the proceedings less time-consuming.
- Do you/your industry colleagues offer trainings/seminars in this country? Please describe. See 5.a and b below.
- Please describe any other distinct enforcement issues your industry experienced this past year (positive ones as well as negative ones).
j. On a scale of 0 to 5, how would you rate the effectiveness of copyright enforcement mechanisms in this country (0 = no IP right; 1 = very poor enforcement; 5 = excellent enforcement)?
k. On a scale of 0 to 5, please rate each of the following issues/measure (0 = not available; 1 = poor; 5 = excellent):
- Ease of identifying persons/businesses engaged in copyright infringement and/or the place where they operate.
- Effectiveness of administrative measures (police, etc.) to enforce copyright (also considering the way in which such measures are concretely enforced: speed, costs, deterrence, etc.).
- Effectiveness of civil judicial procedures and remedies (including cease and-desist injunctions; award of adequate damages and expenses; destruction or removal of infringing goods from commerce channels, destruction of equipment used in the production of such goods; closure of facilities where production or trade of infringing goods take place; etc.).
- Effectiveness of criminal judicial procedures (leading to penalties such as fines or imprisonment terms, seizure, forfeiture and destruction of the infringing goods and equipment used in their production, closing of plants, retails or outlets, etc.).
0 (not available)
- Effectiveness of provisional or temporary measures to prevent, in a prompt and effective manner, the further copyright infringement and/or to preserve related evidence (such as raids, seizures, suspensions of release into trade channels, provisional closing of facilities, etc.), including, in urgent cases, measures issued ex parte (without previous notification to the other party).
- Effectiveness of contacts with local associations (trade, industrial, IPR, etc.).
- Effectiveness of political demarches by other governments (US, EU, etc.).
l. Do you consider that there are differences in treatment between nationals and foreigners in Greece? No (or only exceptionally)
l2. If yes, please describe how nationals and foreigners are treated differently in Greece. m. Is there an obligation to use a local representative to initiate/conduct enforcement actions? No (or only exceptionally)
m2. If yes, please describe the obligation to use a local representative in enforcement. Either Greek lawyers or Public Authorities initiate/conduct enforcement.
n. Are there specific provisions of copyright law in this country that are specifically detrimental to foreign right holders (e.g., maximum damage thresholds)?
n2. If yes, please identify and describe those specific provisions of copyright law that are specifically detrimental to foreign right holders.
o. What are the main weaknesses of Greece with regard to copyright enforcement?
The competent authorities’ lack of trained personnel and technical infrastructure; the lack of publicity in respect to their actions; and inordinate court delays.
p. What are the main strengths (and/or recent positive developments) of Greece with regard to copyright enforcement?
As mentioned above, the activation of the new IPR department of the Greek Tax Police and the establishment of a new IPR department within the Greek Police.
Ex parte search orders are easily granted.
3. LAW REFORM – RECENT CHANGES/EXPECTATIONS FOR 2012
- Please describe the any and all copyright law amendments and any other legal reforms: the status; objections or support from the software industry to current drafts etc.
- If not already answered above, please describe any other related laws drafted/adopted (e.g. telecommunications, secondary (including ISP) liability, P2P/graduated response, privacy, civil laws) that affect Internet enforcement or cooperation among right holders and ISPs.
- Please describe any other legislative concerns you have in Greece.
The Greek legislation in regard to IPR Protection of end- user piracy is sufficient enough.
- On a scale of 0 to 5, how would you rate the effectiveness of copyright laws and regulations in Greece (0 = no right; 1 = very poor protection; 5 = excellent protection)?
- What are the main weaknesses of Greece with regard to the current copyright laws and regulations?
The Greek legislation in regard to IPR Protection of end- user piracy is sufficient enough. However specialized IPR courts should be established in all Greek cities.
- What are the main strengths (and/or recent positive improvements) of Greece with regard to the current copyright laws and regulations?
In case there is a reasonable suspicion of a copyright infringement, the judge issues an ex parte search order [Article 64 L. 2121/1993, article 50 par. 2 (TRIPS), article 7 EU directive 2004/48]. In practice, as regards s/w copyright infringement, the threshold of evidence needed to grant such orders is easily met. According to article 65 par.2 of the Law 2121/1993 the right holder’s compensation equals double the amount legally required or normally payable for the form of exploitation which the infringing party has effected without license. In practice, as regards s/w copyright infringement, normally this compensation is equal to the double price of the s/w product.
According to art. 65A par. 1 & 2 of the Greek Copyright Law, any person who illegally reproduces, sells or otherwise distributes to the public or possesses with the purpose of distributing a computer program shall, irrespective of other sanctions, be subject to an administrative fine of EUR 1,000.00 for each illegal copy of the computer program.
Furthermore, (for the recording industry) a street vendor or a standing person (outside a shop) caught distributing sound recordings to the public by sale or by other means, possessing sound recordings with intent to distribute is subject to an administrative penalty equal to 20 euros for each infringing item seized at the time of the arrest. The minimum administrative penalty is 1000 euros.
Also, according to par. 4 of the same article, “The competent authorities for the control of enforcement of these stipulations and of the enforcement of the provided sanctions are the Tax Police (SDOE), the Police and the Custom authorities, which inform the right holders via the Hellenic Copyright Organization after the finding of the violation in order they protect their lawful rights.”
- 4. MARKET ACCESS ISSUES – RECENT CHANGES/EXPECTATIONS FOR 2012
- Please identify any specific market access issues that affect the software sector in Greece and describe their impact.
- Are you aware of local measures which, while NOT constituting IPR infringements as such, you nevertheless consider to be worrying and potentially damaging (e.g., relating to non-voluntary technology transfer, abusive compulsory licensing, abusive IPR requirements relating to technical standards, international exhaustion of certain IP rights, etc.)?
b2. If yes, please describe any local measures that, while not constituting IPR infringements as such, you nevertheless consider to be worrying or potentially damaging.
- 5. TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND COOPERATION
a. Have you organized or participated in IPR-related technical assistance and/or awareness-raising initiatives in Greece during the past 2 years?
a2. If yes, please describe those IPR-related technical assistance and/or awareness-raising initiatives.
- BSA has provided a three – hour training seminar to SDOE IPR Department’s officials in February 2011.
- BSA has provided SDOE and Police with technical experts many times to assist them during the execution of administrative raids.
- BSA’s counsels have provided legal assistance (opinions) to SDOE’s Special IPR Department many times as regards the law proceedings.
- BSA’s s/w awareness campaign is taking place in Greece, which includes the sending letters to companies and Greek Mayors, describing the risks and the consequences using unlicensed s/w and encouraging the recipients to check their s/w compliance and get legalized.
b. Are you prepared to work together with the competent authorities in Greece in order to help them combat
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