It is not only culture and economy but also society that is affected by copyright; this is how important copyright is nowadays. Respecting and protecting it guarantees that more intellectual works are created, performed and distributed; respecting and protecting copyright fosters in a person civility, education, social responsibility and refinement.
In all the above, the role that parents play is crucial. It is mainly parents that form the personality and attitudes of their children. And their children are the civilians of tomorrow’s society. It is through them that progress and development is engineered.
Hellenic Copyright Organisation (HCO) acknowledges that and has created the “Parent Handbook”. This handbook is part of a series of instructive materials (handbooks for teachers, primary school students, high school students, among others). It aims to provide useful information on basic questions regarding copyright and related rights.
For further information on copyright and related rights feel free to contact us or visit our website at www.opi.gr.
Frequently asked questions for parents
1. What is copyright?
Copyright is the legal right attributed to the author of an intellectual work, namely the right to control the use of his work.
Copyright also refers to the set of rules that govern this right and aim at the protection of the authors and the holders of related rights.
2. Why is it important to protect it?
Copyright is important for human creativity because it ensures authors livelihood and motivates them for further creation.
Moreover, it offers authors recognition and respect. Copyright provides them with the means to profit from their work without depending on others, thus allowing them to have an independent job.
This results in the creation and enjoyment of more cultural goods all over the world. It adds to the development of arts, culture and economy.
3. What exactly does it protect?
Copyright protects every original work, namely every original intellectual creation of words, art or science expressed in any form.
The term works designates mainly written texts (novels, chronicles, poems, fairy tales, scripts, lyrics, scientific papers etc.); oral texts (for instance lectures); musical compositions, theatrical plays, choreographies, audiovisual works (such as films, documentaries, video clips, animation etc.); works of visual and applied arts (paintings, sculptures, engravings, illustrations, jewelry and furniture designs, dolls etc.); architectural works and photographs; also, translations, adaptations and compilations of works or simple facts and elements, like encyclopedias, anthologies, etc. Finally, on a par with websites and computer programs databases are also considered works.
A definition of originality is not included in the law. It is common ground that works are considered original in cases where a third party under similar circumstances and with the same goal in mind could not have concluded in the same creative result (criterion of statistical uniqueness).
It is important to keep in mind that ideas as such are not protected so as to ensure free flow and progress in the artistic and scientific fields. In consequence, the main requirement for protection is that the work be expressed in a specific form. In other words, it is not the idea that is protected but its expression in a form. For example, my idea of writing a poem based on the four seasons is not protected. However, when my idea is turned into something concrete, takes any kind of form and when it is original and I end up writing the poem, then and only then will the work be protected by copyright.
4. What does it not protect?
Besides ideas, formulas, procedures and methods are not protected either, since they seem more akin to ideas rather than works; prohibition of their use would halt evolution and progress. Moreover, information is not protected either, as it does not include any originality; neither do simple facts, news, folklore expressions (such as traditional poems, sayings, proverbs, traditional dances), administrative documents and laws.
5. What do we call ‘related rights’?
Related or neighboring rights to a work are the rights held by natural or legal persons who contribute to the commercial production of a work, interpreting, making available to the public, or presenting it to the said public or financially investing in its exploitation and dissemination. The contributions of those persons do not meet the requirements for copyright protection; however, given the significant role they play in the interpreting, intercession, production, dissemination and exploitation of the work, their protection is equally important.
Related rights protection is independent of copyright protection of; it is parallel to it and leaves it unaffected.
6. What exactly constitutes copyright?
Copyright consists of an economic and a moral right.
The economic right enables the author to profit financially from it, for example to reproduce, distribute, translate or upload it on the internet.
The moral right has to do with the personal connection of the author to his work. This right includes, among others, the publication right (i.e., the right of the author to publish the work where and when he sees fit), the paternity right, namely the right to be recognized as the rightful author of the work and the integrity right, that is to say the right to prohibit any interference or modification to it.
7. What is the term of copyright protection?
Copyright does not last forever. It lasts for the author’s life plus 70 years after his death. This is the reason why there are certain works that have entered the public domain, meaning that they can be freely reproduced without the author’s prior permission.
The economic right is a right that expires. On the contrary, the moral right of paternity and integrity do not end, but last forever. After the term of protection has expired (i.e., the 70 years from the death of the author), the Ministry of Culture exercises these two moral rights.
8. Why is it important to teach my children about copyright?
Copyright concerns us all. It may be that downloading songs or films from the internet has become nowadays such a common phenomenon that it ends up seeming only normal, but this is not the case. Such acts remain illegal.
Children from an early age are accustomed to new technologies as well as the internet and widely participate in social platforms (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram etc.). This is why it is important that they learn the correct and acceptable use of the web; that way they can protect the content they share on the internet and their rights and while not infringing the rights of the others.
9. How can I explain to my children what they can and cannot do?
One way to go about this is to explain to them the possible economical and legal sanctions that copyright infringement brings about. Still, it might be best to explain the importance of respecting each and every work that is an intellectual creation, as well as every author of such work. This is why the best way to address the matter is through examples taken from everyday life.
Every artistic or cultural event you attend with your children is an opportunity to discuss the issue and explain with simple examples the concept of copyright and related rights.
10. What’s the best way to go about this?
Next time you go with your children to the cinema or theater, next time you listen to your favorite music at home or read a book together, explain to them (a) who the authors and who the rightholders of related rights are and (b) why is it important to respect their rights.
Ask the children whether they enjoyed it and whether they believe that the person who created it should be compensated for his toil and recognized by the public for his work. Discuss with them the importance of such compensation; whether it gives the creator the will and the means to create his next work for us to enjoy. If he/she is not rewarded, will he/she have the will to create a new work? And if he ceases to create, due to lack of necessary means, what will this signify for us? How would we feel if there were no good films to watch or good music to listen to?
Film: “Inside Out”
Α. Creators: The directors of the film (Pete Docter και Ronnie Del Carmen) are considered to be its creators and have the economic and moral right to exploit the work. The standard practice though, dictates that some of the powers of the economic right are transferred through agreement to the producer of the film.< br/> At the same time, the scriptwriter or music composer of the film for example, remain nonetheless the creators of the separate works that have been included in the film (script, music), regardless of whether these works were created within the context of the film or beforehand.
Β. Rightholders of related rights: The film’s production studio (Pixar Studios), the artists vocally embodying the heroes of the story, the artists dubbing the dialogues in Greek, the singers performing the opening titles are all holders of related rights.
CD: “The Lazy Dragon and Other Stories”
Α. Creators: The CD creator is the composer George Hatzipieris.
Β. Rightholders of related rights: They are all the artists taking part in the work by interpreting creator’s songs, for example Eleftheria Arvanitaki, Dionisis Savvopoulos, Phoebos Delivorias, as well as the production music label of (Universal).
Book: “The Last Black Cat”
Α. Creators: The creator is its writer, Eugene Trivizas, who, unless otherwise agreed in writing with the editor, holds the economic and moral rights of the book.
Β. Rightholders of related rights: Related rights are reserved to the editor of the book (Patakis Editions), as well as to its artistic curator.
Another good idea is to put the children in the author’s shoes. A drawing the children made at school, the last play they participated in or the essay they wrote which the teacher praised, are all good opportunities to discuss about how they would feel if their classmate stole their work and presented it as its own, receiving all along the praise of the teacher and the recognition of the classmates.
Finally, ask the children about the websites they use to listen to their favorite music or watch films or TV series they prefer. Search with them whether the uploaded content is legal and authorized by the rightholder. Make a further research to find the providers that distribute legal content and discuss with the children the importance of not making use of illegal content, even if it is easily accessible.
11. What’s the deal with social media?
The term ‘social media’ refers to all internet media that involve sharing/exchanging information and interaction with others. They include social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Myspace, LinkedIn etc.), websites with user generated content (i.e., blogs, wikis, YouTube), browsers (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.), file sharing programs (i.e., LimeWire, Flickr) and some other types of entertainment software, virtual reality and related interactive services (ex. Second Life και World of Warcraft); in other words programs that are equally widely used by children.
Copyright applies to social media platforms, just as it applies to any other case. Therefore, children as users of such websites should be careful as to the content they choose to republish. Works of others, for example pictures of their classmates, music clips of their favorite artist, videos from the last movie they saw and so on, cannot be freely reproduced or republished without the author’s or rightholder’s permission to do so. The works children create themselves are protected in the same way as well. Pictures they took with their friends, texts they publish, audiovisual material they may have created on their own cannot be freely used by third parties, reproduced or modified without their permission. It is important for children to know what their rights are and how they can protect them so as not to hesitate to claim such protection.
12. Is there something else I should keep in mind?
Bear in mind that not everything online is free to use. Most children today are active users of the internet, of social platforms, of peer-to-peer exchange platforms and other interactive services; this is why you should remind them to pay attention to where the material they share comes from and to who owns the relevant rights. The same applies in relation to their own creations, which are equally protected from infringement by third parties.
Further details about internet use and raising children’s awareness can be found at: http://www.saferinternet.gr
13. Where can I find more information on copyright?
For more details visit the Hellenic Copyright Organization website at opi.gr and here.