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FAQs on copyright for teachers

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on copyright for teachers helps teachers and students in the EU to find information on using copyright protected content in the context of education and training, particularly online. It also informs teachers and students on the opportunities copyright protection can have for them as potential creators of works within the context of education.

This initiative follows in the footsteps of the successful FAQs on copyright for consumers, which aim to help EU consumers learn more about what is legal and what is not when using copyright protected content – such as music or film – on the internet.

15 questions from consumers on copyright for all EU Member States

Answers to the FAQs are given for all EU Member States. They are available in English and/or at least one official language of each respective Member State.

Teachers’ questions on copyright

What materials can you use? What content can you share with your students? Or play in class? If you create something at school, can you enjoy copyright protection?

Click on a country in the map or select a country from the list to show the answers for the country:

 

Showing the answers for the country: Greece Read in: ελληνικά | English .

 

Copyright in education in your country: main rules, exceptions and national organisation(s) which can answer your questions

1. a. Can teachers take photocopies or scan pages from books or newspapers for their students?

1. b. If yes, under which conditions can teachers use them?

2. a. Under which conditions can teachers display movies in class or at school in general?

2. b. Does it matter if the movie is a DVD personally owned by the teacher or if the movie is a recording of a television broadcast?

3. a. Can students perform a musical work or perform a theatrical play in class?

3. b. Can they do it at a school concert open to a wider audience (such as parents, other students and teaching staff)?

4. a. Can music that is available for free for example on YouTube, Soundcloud or Spotify, be used in class, including for background music?

4. b. What if the music is played from a paid subscription?

5. A teacher wants to stream a cinematographic work (e.g. a movie, documentary) online to show in class using his/her own paid streaming account or another video on demand (VoD) platform. Is that legal?

6. Under which conditions can teachers or students use copyrighted material (such as images, articles, photos) from the internet for educational purposes, such as in an assignment, presentation or in a digital learning environment?

7. How can teachers share digital copies of copyright protected educational material to their students (e.g. via the school’s intranet, by email, chatroom, cloud service?) and in what form (e.g. links, attachment)?

8. How do I know if a teaching material is offered legally or illegally online?

9. How can a teacher or student identify the authors and rights holders of works such as photos and illustrations they would like to use in an educational context?

10. a. Do educational establishments have licences that allow their teachers and students to use copyright protected material?

11. Can a teacher record his/her classes and use the recording to provide distance learning to other students not necessarily from the teacher’s school establishment?

12. Can a teacher create new educational content by quoting pre-existing works, adapting/modifying them, or making compilations for educational purposes?

13. Can a teacher translate a short part of a book or translate and adapt lyrics of existing songs for use in class?

14. a. If a teacher creates an educational material (such as a publication, or a lecture handout), is this material granted copyright protection?

14. b. Does the teacher enjoy copyright protection over the material created in the course of employment, allowing him/her to further use and share it?

15. a. If a student creates an artistic work (e.g. drawing, text, presentation, photo, videoclip) during the course of studies, will it be copyright-protected?

15. b. If yes, will a student enjoy copyright protection over that work and what are the implications? Can, for instance, a teacher/school share it on the school’s intranet or webpage?

 

Copyright in education in your country: main rules, exceptions and national organisation(s) which can answer your questions

1)Teachers and students as creators of copyright protected works:

a) In your country, where can you find general information on copyright?

The Hellenic Copyright Organisation (OPI) operates the following websites with a view to informing the public and raising public awareness on copyright matters: www.opi.gr

This is the main OPI website, which includes all information associated with the OPI’s responsibilities (Copyright information, FAQs, CMOs, Training, Library, Time-Stamping, Internet Piracy Committee, News, etc.) www.copyrightschool.gr

This website was created by the OPI to keep teachers and students informed and to raise awareness on how important copyright protection is. It contains material for use by teachers and students of both First- and Second-Degree Educational Institutions (Teacher / Student Guides, FAQs, e-games, an Animated Film, Quizzes, Comics, Crosswords, etc.). www.enjoylegal.gr

It is an OPI initiative intended to keep the Greek public informed on internet platforms containing legitimately content protected by copyright and/or by related rights. It is a member of the Agorateka network. www.timestamp.gr

The time stamping service was created by the OPI to meet the needs of all authors (irrespective of the type of work concerned, both professionals and amateurs) to be able to prove in a simple and effective manner when their work originally came into existence in its current form.

In addition, the OPI’s copyright requirements are available in the form of FAQs on the EUIPO website: https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/web/observatory/faqs-on-copyright

2) Teachers and students as users of copyright protected works:

a) In your country, which exceptions can apply to teaching activities?

Article 19: Quotation of extracts

The 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, provided that the quotation is compatible with fair practice and that the extent of the extracts does not exceed that justified by the purpose. The quotation of the extract must be accompanied by an indication of the source of the extract and of the names of the author and of the publisher, provided that these names appear in the source.

Article 20: School textbooks and anthologies

1. The reproduction of lawfully published literary works of one or more writers in educational textbooks approved for use in primary and secondary education by the Ministry of National Education and Religions or another competent ministry, according to the official detailed syllabus, shall be permissible without the consent of the authors and without payment. The reproduction shall encompass only a small part of the total output of each of the writers. The provision is applicable only as it concerns the reproduction by means of printing.

2. After the death of the author it shall be permissible to reproduce his works in a lawfully published anthology of literary works of more than one writer, without the consent of the right holders and without payment. The reproduction shall encompass only a small part of the total output of each of the writers.

3. The reproduction, as specified in paragraphs (1) and (2), above, shall not conflict with the normal exploitation of the work from which the texts are taken and must be accompanied by an indication of the source and of the names of the author and the publisher, provided that these names appear in the source.

Article 21: Reproduction for teaching purposes

It shall be permissible, without the consent of the author and without payment, to reproduce articles lawfully published in a newspaper or periodical, short extracts of a work or parts of a short work or a lawfully published work of fine art work exclusively for teaching or examination purposes at an educational establishment, in such measure as is compatible with the aforementioned purpose, provided that the reproduction is effected in accordance with fair practice and does not conflict with the normal exploitation. The reproduction must be accompanied by an indication of the source and of the names of the author and the publisher, provided that these names appear on the source.

Article 22: Libraries and archives

(as the Article’s heading was amended by Article 54(3)(a) of Law 4481/2017)

1. It shall be permissible, without the consent of the author and without payment, for a non-profit-making library or archive to reproduce one additional copy from a copy of the work already in their permanent collection, for the purpose of retaining that additional copy or of transferring it to another non profit-making library or archive. The reproduction shall be permissible only if an additional copy cannot be obtained in the market promptly, and on reasonable terms.

2. It is permissible, without the authorisation of the author and without remuneration, to publicly borrow works from the libraries of primary and secondary education institutions (school libraries) and from the academic libraries that are members of the Hellenic Academic Libraries Association (as added with Article 54(3)(c) of Law 4481/2017 and in force as of 4.3.1993).

Note: A Presidential Decree issued within one (1) year after the entry into force of this Law, upon proposal of the Ministers of Interior, Education, Research and Religious Affairs and Culture and Sports, shall determine the remuneration received by right holders for the public borrowing, the means and system of its collection and distribution, all libraries and entities which fall within the scope of the regulation, with the exception of the libraries referred to in paragraph 2 of Article 22 of Law 2121/1993, as inserted by item a of the preceding paragraph, as a well as any other relevant details. Until the issuance of the Presidential Decree referred to in the preceding paragraph, public libraries, libraries belonging to legal persons governed by private and public law, supervised by the State, municipal libraries, libraries of public benefit institutions and organisations, educational institutions and missions in Greece, and libraries of private schools shall pay no pay remuneration for public borrowing. (Article 54(3)(b) of Law 4481/2017).

Article 27: Public performance or presentation on special occasions

The public performance or presentation of a work shall be permissible, without the consent of the author and without payment on the following occasions: a) at official ceremonies, to the extent compatible with the nature of the ceremonies; and b) within the framework of staff and pupil or student activities at an educational establishment, provided that the audience is composed exclusively of the aforementioned persons, the parents of the pupils or students, persons responsible for the care of the pupils or students, or persons directly involved in the activities of the establishment.

Legal basis:

  • Law 2121/1993 (Government Gazette, Series A, Issue No 1993 of 4 March 1993), as amended from time to time and in force, accessible at: https://opi.gr/vivliothiki/2121-1993
  • Greece has not yet transposed Directive 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market and amending Directives 96/9/EC and 2001/29/EC and the answers provided herein rely on the national legislation mentioned above. The transposition of Directive 2019/790 is expected to have an impact on certain answers.

b) In your country, which organisation would be the best placed to answer questions on copyright for teachers and students? 

In Greece, the organisation responsible for copyright and related rights is the Hellenic Copyright Organisation (www.opi.gr). The Hellenic Copyright Organization (OPI) is a legal entity under private law, located in Athens (5, Metsovou Street) and placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

The main purpose of the Hellenic Copyright Organization is to protect the authors and right holders of related rights, to take steps for the implementation of Law 2121/1993 and the international conventions, to supervise the Collecting Societies and to undertake  preparatory legal work on matters pertaining to copyright and related rights. In the context of its responsibilities, the OPI deals with copyright and related rights issues; it represents Greece before the competent international organisations and EU Bodies; it supervises the operation of the system for protecting the authors and the holders of related rights and incorporates and adjusts in Greece the latest developments on the EU and international level, thus promoting creativity and culture. Furthermore, the OPI organises and takes part in seminars for the purpose of training and informing judges, lawyers, administrative personnel, authors, holders of related rights and students on matters of copyright and related rights and also provides information on matters of copyright and related rights.

Legal basis: Article 69 2121/1993 on ‘Copyright, Related Rights and Cultural Matters’ (GG Α/25/1993), Presidential Decree 311/1994 (GG 165/Α/1994).

 

1. a. Can teachers take photocopies or scan pages from books or newspapers for their students?

The law introduces an exception that permits this, provided that the photocopies are only used in class for teaching purposes. (See Article 21 of Law 2121/1993, https://opi.gr/vivliothiki/2121-1993#a21).

The relevant legislative framework is expected to be amended in view of the transposition of Directive 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market and amending Directives 96/9/EC and 2001/29/EC.

Legal basis: Article 21 of Law 2121/1993, https://opi.gr/vivliothiki/2121-1993#a21).

 

1. b. If yes, under which conditions can teachers use them?

It shall be permissible, without the consent of the author and without payment, to reproduce articles lawfully published in a newspaper or periodical, short extracts of a work or parts of a short work or a lawfully published work of fine art work exclusively for teaching or examination purposes at an educational establishment, in such measure as is compatible with the aforementioned purpose, provided that the reproduction is effected in accordance with fair practice and does not conflict with the normal exploitation. The reproduction must be accompanied by an indication of the source and of the names of the author and the publisher, provided that these names appear on the source.

The exceptions and limitations laid down in the law apply exclusively to economic rights. Moral rights are not subject to any limitations/exceptions.

Moreover, there is no qualitative criterion as to the permitted actions, as this is defined on a case-by-case basis.

This exception applies to all educational institutions, both public and private.

The law, as currently in force, contains no regulations in relation to work which is not available on the market.

The relevant legislative framework is expected to be amended in view of the transposition of Directive 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market and amending Directives 96/9/EC and 2001/29/EC.

 

2. a. Under which conditions can teachers display movies in class or at school in general?

The exception laid down in Article 19 of Law 2121/1993 on quotations refers to ‘short excerpts’, which are not defined further down in the Law. This exception is not limited to the educational purpose or to the academic community. In any case, the quotation must be consistent with the moral conventions and the length of the cited excerpts must be justified by the purpose sought. The quotation of the extract must be accompanied by an indication of the source of the extract and of the names of the author and of the publisher, provided that these names appear in the source.

The exception laid down in Article 21 of Law 2121/1993 refers to the reproduction of articles lawfully published in a newspaper or periodical, short extracts of a work or parts of a short work or a lawfully published work of fine art work exclusively for teaching or examination purposes at an educational establishment, in such measure as is compatible with the aforementioned purpose, provided that the reproduction is effected in accordance with fair practice and does not conflict with the normal exploitation. The reproduction must be accompanied by an indication of the source and of the names of the author and the publisher, provided that these names appear on the source.

It is noted that this exception only refers to the right of third parties to reproduce the work, rather than to public performance or presentation of the work to the public.

Legal basis: Articles 19 and 21 of Law 2121/1993, https://opi.gr/vivliothiki/2121-1993#a21).

 

2. b. Does it matter if the movie is a DVD personally owned by the teacher or if the movie is a recording of a television broadcast?

In addition to the exceptions laid down in the law, the answer to this question may vary depending on the terms of sale of the DVD or the terms on which a television programme was broadcast. As per the rest, please refer to Answer to Question 2a.

 

3. a. Can students perform a musical work or perform a theatrical play in class?

According to Article 27 of Law 2121/1993, the public performance or presentation of a work shall be permissible, without the consent of the author and without payment on the following occasions: a) at official ceremonies, to the extent compatible with the nature of the ceremonies, b) within the framework of staff and pupil or student activities at an educational establishment, provided that the audience is composed exclusively of the aforementioned persons, the parents of the pupils or students, persons responsible for the care of the pupils or students, or persons directly involved in the activities of the establishment.

It is noted that this exception only refers to school stage performances and applies not only to schools, but to all educational institutions (primary, secondary or higher education, private or public) and other schools, insofar as they are subject to the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs (dance schools are only included if music work is reproduced to meet teaching requirements in the context of dancing classes (Supreme Court judgment no. 1733/2017, Athens Misdemeanours Court judgment no. 2485/2017).

The members of the Board of Directors of private educational institutions may be considered as persons being directly involved in the institution’s activities.

The criterion here being the audience (these events often take place elsewhere than on school premises but are only accessible to parents and the persons permitted under the exception), rather than the location.

 

3. b. Can they do it at a school concert open to a wider audience (such as parents, other students and teaching staff)?

See answer in question 3A.

 

4. a. Can music that is available for free for example on YouTube, Soundcloud or Spotify, be used in class, including for background music?

The statutory exception for free reproduction in class does not include the situations where the work is presented to the public. The use of new technologies (the internet) in online and remote education does not fall under the existing exceptions/limitations, as in these situations the work is presented to the public. No exception/limitation applies in this case, as this is considered presentation of the work to the public.

The transposition of Directive 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market and amending Directives 96/9/EC and 2001/29/EC is expected to modify the current regulatory framework.

In any case, the legitimacy of the use of music pieces in class by third-party websites or platforms and generally the legitimacy of the use of third-party work depends on the terms of use of the material/content that is made available through the website/source (such terms must essentially provide that ‘the content can be presented/made accessible to the public’).

 

4. b. What if the music is played from a paid subscription?

See answer to Question Q4A.

 

5. A teacher wants to stream a cinematographic work (e.g. a movie, documentary) online to show in class using his/her own paid streaming account or another video on demand (VoD) platform. Is that legal?

This situation is not regulated in the current regulatory framework.

The transposition of Directive 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market and amending Directives 96/9/EC and 2001/29/EC is expected to regulate, among others, this particular situation.

In any case, it is important that the content used derives from a reliable/legitimate source, namely from websites or internet platforms which display such content legitimately. It is also important that the terms of use of the material/content which is made available through the website/source be carefully reviewed (such terms must essentially provide that 'the content can be presented/made accessible to the public’) Frequent checks for amendments are also recommended.

 

6. Under which conditions can teachers or students use copyrighted material (such as images, articles, photos) from the internet for educational purposes, such as in an assignment, presentation or in a digital learning environment?

Whether copyrighted work available on the internet can be used is not explicitly defined in the Law. What’s important, however, in establishing the legitimacy of an action which serves educational purposes is the type of action concerned (e.g. reproduction, presentation to the public, translation or other action, as per Article 3 of Law 2121/1993) as well as the source of the material. In any case, the terms of use of the website/platform the material derives from, are also important.

However, the transposition of Directive 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market and amending Directives 96/9/EC and 2001/29/EC is expected to regulate, among others, this particular situation.

 

7. How can teachers share digital copies of copyright protected educational material to their students (e.g. via the school’s intranet, by email, chatroom, cloud service?) and in what form (e.g. links, attachment)?

This situation is not regulated in the current regulatory framework.

In any case, it is noted that the exception introduced for educational purposes only applies to reproduction (including digital reproduction) as a right.

It is important that the material concerned derives from a legitimate source.

The inclusion of hyperlinks in freely accessible websites raises no copyright infringement issues.

Any persons adding hyperlinks to material that is illegitimately posted on the internet, are aware of the unlawful nature of their actions. By contrast, if this serves a non-profit purpose and is done by a person who was not – and could not have been reasonably – aware of the unlawful display of the material on another website, then the addition of a hyperlink is permitted if the material is freely accessible on the internet.

The terms of use of the website must be reviewed to establish on what terms the use of their content is permitted.

Directive 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market and amending Directives 96/9/EC and 2001/29/EC is expected to regulate, among others, this particular situation.

 

8. How do I know if a teaching material is offered legally or illegally online?

It is difficult to know whether each piece of work is lawfully or unlawfully displayed in the digital world, as there is no official record of the content that is lawfully displayed. In case of doubt, one should seek to obtain permission of use from the author/right holder or collection societies (depending on the nature of the work concerned) that are lawfully licensed by the Ministry of Culture and manage the rights of authors and holders of related rights. (https://opi.gr/osd-aod).

Given that finding legitimate content on the internet is not a simple task, the Hellenic Copyright Organisation has created the website <enjoylegal.gr>. This internet portal was created with a view to informing the public on internet platforms displaying legitimate content that is protected under copyright law.

enjoylegal.gr’ lists the websites where internet users can lawfully watch/download films, series, television shows and sports events or listen to / download music, read/download books and gain access to images and video games.

 

9. How can a teacher or student identify the authors and rights holders of works such as photos and illustrations they would like to use in an educational context?

There is currently no database of all works and the names of their authors/right holders.

According to Article 10 of Law 2121/1993, the person whose name appears on a copy of a work in the manner usually employed to indicate authorship, shall be presumed to be the author of that work. The same shall apply when the name that appears is a pseudonym, provided that the pseudonym leaves no doubt as to the person’s identity. In the case of collective works, computer programs or audiovisual works, the natural or legal person whose name or title appears on a copy of the work in the manner usually employed to indicate the right holder shall be presumed to be the right holder of the copyright in the particular work.

As per the rest, any interested teachers/academics or pupils/students may contact the competent collection society and request the relevant permission (https://opi.gr/osd-aod/stoixeia-epikoinonias-osd), in any situations lying outside the scope of the exceptions laid down in the applicable legislation.

 

10. a. Do educational establishments have licences that allow their teachers and students to use copyright protected material?

The transposition of Directive 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market and amending Directives 96/9/EC and 2001/29/EC is expected to regulate, among others, this particular situation.

 

11. Can a teacher record his/her classes and use the recording to provide distance learning to other students not necessarily from the teacher’s school establishment?

If, at the time the lesson is recorded, the teacher uses any copyrighted work, for example, excerpts from movies, photographs etc., he/she must be very careful if he/she makes the recording available to any other pupils/students outside the educational institution he/she works for. At the same time, data protection and personality / image protection matters arise in respect of the students who can be heard or seen in the recorded/broadcast material.

The upcoming transposition of Directive 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market and amending Directives 96/9/EC and 2001/29/EC is expected to change how these situations are being assessed.

 

12. Can a teacher create new educational content by quoting pre-existing works, adapting/modifying them, or making compilations for educational purposes?

The exception introduced in Article 21 of Law 2121/1993 only applies to reproduction for teaching purposes and to no other rights of the author. This means that any other use of existing material is subject to permission by the author/right holder.

The indication of the source does not, per se, legitimise the use of the material (e.g. photograph or image of a piece of art) without permission, if the material is copyrighted and no exception applies.

 

13. Can a teacher translate a short part of a book or translate and adapt lyrics of existing songs for use in class?

The exception introduced in Article 21 of Law 2121/1993 only applies to reproduction for teaching purposes and to no other rights of the author, for example for the translation. This means that any other use of existing material is subject to permission by the author/right holder.

 

14. a. If a teacher creates an educational material (such as a publication, or a lecture handout), is this material granted copyright protection?

Originality is the sole criterion in protecting copyrighted work. Such protection is independent of the aesthetic/artistic value of the work, its destination, or whether it is immoral or unlawful (e.g. translation of a work for which no permission has been obtained as required by the law). The protection afforded includes all individual parts of the work concerned.

It is noted that, in any situations where work is jointly created by a teacher and a pupil/student, the following shall apply:

  • Works of joint authorship (where there is direct collaboration of two or more authors the rights shall be shared equally by the co-authors).
  • Collective works (independent contributions of several authors under the intellectual direction and coordination of a natural person / original right holder of the economic and moral rights on the collective work. The individual authors are original holders of the economic and moral rights on their own individual contributions, insofar as the latter are subject to separate exploitation).
  • Composite works (parts created separately – the author of each part of a composite work is the exclusive original holder of the rights of his/her own part, insofar as the latter is subject to separate exploitation).

Legal basis: Article 7 of Law 2121/1993.

 

14. b. Does the teacher enjoy copyright protection over the material created in the course of employment, allowing him/her to further use and share it?

Where a work is created by an employee in the execution of an employment contract the initial holder of the economic and moral rights in the work shall be the author of the work.

Unless provided otherwise by contract, only such economic rights as are necessary for the fulfilment of the purpose of the contract shall be transferred exclusively to the employer.

The economic right on works created by employees under any work related to the public sector or a legal entity of public law in the execution of their duties is ipso jure transferred to the employer, unless provided otherwise by contract.

Thus, in relation to work that is created by a teacher in the context of his/her duties or in the context of a contract with his/her employer, the employer only automatically acquires those powers arising from the economic right which are necessary in implementing the scope of the contract.

For teachers doing any work related to the public sector or a legal entity of public law, in execution of their duties, all copyright is ipso jure transferred to the employer, unless provided otherwise by contract.

The moral right is not transferred and remains with the original author at all times, whether the latter is a teacher or a pupil/student.

Legal basis: Article 8 of Law 2121/1993.

 

15. a. If a student creates an artistic work (e.g. drawing, text, presentation, photo, videoclip) during the course of studies, will it be copyright-protected?

See answer to Question Q14a.

In addition, minors are eligible as copyright holders in relation to original intellectual creations (work); their rights can only be exercised by their parents or guardians.

 

15. b.  If yes, will a student enjoy copyright protection over that work and what are the implications? Can, for instance, a teacher/school share it on the school’s intranet or webpage?

In addition to what Law 2121/1993 dictates (the author is the original holder of both the economic and the moral right over his/her work), attention should be paid to the Regulations of the educational institution and any pertinent clauses. Moreover, attention should be paid to data protection and/or personality/image protection matters.

Lastly, reference is made to the author’s moral right to decide on the time, place and manner in which the work shall be made accessible to the public (publication) and to demand that his/her status as the author of the work be acknowledged and, in particular, to the extent that it is possible, that his/her name be indicated on the copies of his/her work and noted whenever his/her work is used publicly, or, on the contrary, if he/she so wishes, that his/her work be presented anonymously or under a pseudonym.

Legal basis: Articles 4 and 6 of Law 2121/1993.

 

Disclaimer

The answers to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) were finalised on the date indicated as the status date on the website. Gathering up-to-date information from 27 Member States is an extensive exercise. While the EUIPO tries to keep the information up-to-date, new case-law or legislative reforms may impact the content of the FAQs. It means for instance that the following answers which rely on the current legislation in force in Member States, may not take into account new legislation transposing the Digital Single Market Copyright Directive (2019/790) (the Copyright Directive). Neither the EUIPO nor any person acting on behalf of the EUIPO is responsible for the use which might be made of the FAQs.

 

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