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On infringements of intellectual property rights

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FAQ sur le droit d’auteur pour les consommateurs

FAQ sur le droit d’auteur pour les consommateurs

La foire aux questions (FAQ) sur le droit d’auteur pour les consommateurs aide à informer tous les consommateurs européens sur ce qui est légal et ce qui ne l’est pas en ce qui concerne l’utilisation de contenus protégés par le droit d’auteur sur l’internet, tels que la musique ou les films.

Dans le prolongement de cette initiative réussie, la FAQ sur le droit d’auteur pour les enseignants fournira aux enseignants et aux étudiants de l’UE des informations claires et précises sur le type d’usage de contenus protégés par le droit d’auteur qui est autorisé dans le contexte de l’éducation.

Quinze questions de consommateurs sur le droit d’auteur pour tous les États membres de l’UE

Les réponses fournies dans la FAQ valent pour tous les États membres de l’Union européenne. Elles sont disponibles en anglais et dans au moins une des langues officielles de l’État membre concerné.

Comment le droit d’auteur affecte-t-il votre vie quotidienne?

 
Publiez-vous sur les réseaux sociaux?
Ajoutez-vous des articles à votre blog?
Pratiquez-vous la diffusion en continu de manière légale?
Qui est le titulaire de votre travail lorsque vous le téléchargez en amont sur une plateforme?
Vous citez un livre célèbre en ligne? Comment?
 
 
 

Cliquez sur un pays de la carte ou sélectionnez un pays de la liste pour afficher les réponses de ce pays:

 

Affichage des réponses pour le pays: Chypre Lire en: ελληνικά | English .

 

1. What does copyright and related rights mean and cover, and is it the same all over the world?

2. Who owns copyright and how does copyright benefit creators, 'rights holder(s), consumers, society, economy and culture as a whole?

3. Do I automatically get copyright protection, for example, if I take a photograph with my phone, or do I have to register my work to get protection?

4. What is copyright infringement? Can I get in trouble for copyright infringement? What if I wasn't aware that I infringed something protected by copyright?

5. Under which conditions can I use a work protected by copyright created by another? I was told that using works created by others is simply a quote and thus is always allowed.

6. Am I allowed to use music protected by copyright as a soundtrack for a home video that I made and want to upload on a video platform?

7. Am I allowed to give a copy of a work protected by copyright to a family member or a friend?

8. Am I allowed to download a work protected by copyright from the internet and does it matter which technology is used and whether I download only parts of the work?

9. I tried to copy a movie from a DVD to my computer, but could not do it because of something called ‘Technical Protection Measures’. What is that and am I allowed to get around them in order to make private copies?

10. What are copyright levies?

11. Am I infringing copyright if I watch a movie by streaming it instead of downloading it from the internet?

12. If copyright-protected works are included into my posts automatically by social media platforms, am I responsible for this and is this a copyright infringement? What if I link to them or embed them in my own website or blog?

13. When I create a work and upload it online, terms and conditions of many sites ask for me to transfer my copyright to the site. Does that mean I lose all those rights in them for the future?

14. My avatar is based on my favourite movie star, cartoon character or sports club. Can I get in trouble for infringement of copyright or any other legislation because of this?

15. How do I know whether a work is offered legally or illegally online?

 

 

 

1. What does copyright and related rights mean and cover, and is it the same all over the world?

In accordance with Cypriot law, the protection of copyright is afforded to authors of original works, producers of films and sound recordings, and broadcasting organisations, while the protection of related rights is afforded to artists, interpreters and performers.

Under international and EU law, the protection of copyright is traditionally distinguished from the protection of related rights. While copyright refers to original works of the mind (literary and artistic works, etc.) and is granted to their authors, the protection of related rights is afforded to persons who contribute to the dissemination of works, for example through organisational, entrepreneurial or economic contributions of a technical nature.

According to the common law tradition, however, the meaning of creation is broader and copyright is not limited to the protection of original works.

Consequently, under Cypriot copyright legislation, producers of sound recordings and films, as well as broadcasting organisations, are protected as ‘authors’. Cypriot copyright law recognises as holders of related rights only interpreters and performers.

 

2. Who owns copyright and how does copyright benefit creators, 'rights holder(s), consumers, society, economy and culture as a whole?

The author, the assignee or the licensee of an exclusive licence is stipulated to be the rights holder under Cypriot law.

Copyright operates in favour of rights holders, offering them, among other things, the exclusive right of control in the Republic of Cyprus of reproduction, advertisement, sale, leasing, distribution, lending, presentation to the public and copying of the original work.

Cypriot law provides for special exceptions in relation to the right of control. Exceptions arise in special cases, such as private use, scientific research and use by educational establishments, uses for blind or visually impaired people, etc.

 

3. Do I automatically get copyright protection, for example, if I take a photograph with my phone, or do I have to register my work to get protection?

No formalities are required for copyright protection to operate once a photograph has been taken with a camera. The photograph is protected automatically without the need to file for protection, register anywhere or follow any other formal procedure. The photograph is protected as long as it is the personal intellectual creation of its owner.

 

4. What is copyright infringement? Can I get in trouble for copyright infringement? What if I wasn't aware that I infringed something protected by copyright?

An infringement of copyright occurs when, without the rights holder’s licence, any person proceeds to, or causes or allows another person to proceed to, any act prohibited by copyright law. However, there is no infringement if the act falls under the specific exceptions stipulated in the legislation.

The rights holder is entitled to both civil and criminal protection when an infringement takes place. However, if in a copyright infringement action it is proved that during the infringement the defendant did not know and/or did not have valid reason to believe that there was copyright in the work, the plaintiff is not entitled to any damages. The plaintiff is entitled to the proceeds which resulted from the infringement irrespective of the availability of any other remedy.

 

5. Under which conditions can I use a work protected by copyright created by another? I was told that using works created by others is simply a quote and thus is always allowed.

Someone may use a work lawfully if the rights in it have been transferred to them, if they have been granted a licence by the rightsholder or if the use they make of it falls under an exception to copyright. One of the exceptions is for the benefit of blind or visually impaired people. Cypriot copyright law allows the quotation of extracts.

However, the extent of the extract must be justified by the purpose for which the quotation is made. The legislation is flexible and allows quotation if this serves a specific purpose, for example information or teaching purposes. For this exception to operate, additional preconditions apply, namely the extract must come from a work that has been published lawfully, the use must not be contrary to the principle of upright practice and the origin of the work and the name of its author must be mentioned. This exception applies only to published works.

 

6. Am I allowed to use music protected by copyright as a soundtrack for a home video that I made and want to upload on a video platform?

The uploading of a derivative work created by the user (so-called user-generated-content) may result in the commitment of acts which are protected by copyright, for instance reproduction, adaptation or presentation to the public.

Consequently, the use of the whole of a musical piece which is protected by copyright without the author’s licence is prohibited. Extracts from a musical piece may be used under the exceptions provided for by Cypriot law.

 

7. Am I allowed to give a copy of a work protected by copyright to a family member or a friend?

Cypriot law allows reproduction for private use as an exception to copyright. On this basis, users may create a copy of a protected work which they have acquired lawfully, to be used privately and not for any direct or indirect commercial purpose.

According to common law, the legitimacy of the creation of a private copy is subject to a further precondition, that is, that the source of the copy is lawful. In other words, users can produce a private copy of a piece only if they have acquired a legitimate work, for instance reproducing a work after having bought the material carrier (e.g. having bought a DVD of a film that is then reproduced for private use).

 

8. Am I allowed to download a work protected by copyright from the internet and does it matter which technology is used and whether I download only parts of the work?

Downloading of a work from the internet constitutes an act of reproduction and requires the licence of the rights holder in order to be lawful. When a work is offered through an open content licence, provided the terms of the licence are kept, the downloading and use of the work will be lawful. The reproduction which is performed by downloading the work will also be lawful provided that it is done through a platform or database on the basis of a user’s contribution in accordance with the terms of the licence.

In this case, the terms of use may allow the reproduction of part of the work or a particular percentage of it. Consequently, a download will be performed lawfully if the relevant terms are fulfilled.

Moreover, downloading of a work from the internet done by a natural person may fall under the reproduction exception for private use. However, a precondition for the exception to apply is the payment of fair remuneration to the rights holder. Cypriot law expressly provides for this precondition but does not specify the basis of the calculation.

In practice, this means that the way users implement this particular exception is not specified. In accordance with EU law (10/04/2014, C 435/12, ACI/ADAM, ECLI:EU:C:2014:254), the courts will not accept as lawful the downloading of a work from the internet if the reproduction is effected from an illicit source, even in the case of private use.

 

9. I tried to copy a movie from a DVD to my computer, but could not do it because of something called ‘Technical Protection Measures’. What is that and am I allowed to get around them in order to make private copies?

The term ‘technological measures’ includes any item of technology, device or component which, in its usual function, purports to prevent or to restrict acts not allowed by the rightsholders, holders of a relative right in relation to protected products or manufacturers who are holders of a special right on a database covered by law.

Under Cypriot law there are exceptions to the protection of technological measures which relate to, among other things, the reproduction of works from libraries, educational establishments and broadcasting organisations, the use of works for judicial, parliamentary or administrative procedures and the use of works for the benefit of people with special needs, for blind or visually impaired people etc.

The rightsholders must offer access to the protected work to those entitled to benefit from these exceptions to the required degree, as provided for by the law.

The law prohibits the offering of circumvention services and the distribution of means and devices for the circumvention of technological protection measures, and in particular the production of information relating to, or the distribution, sale, hiring or possession of, such devices or products for commercial purposes.

 

10. What are copyright levies?

Cypriot copyright law does not provide for a fair remuneration fee for private use reproduction. However, as a precondition for the implementation of the reproduction exception for private use, the law expressly provides for the payment of ‘fair remuneration’ to rights holders. Although there is an express legislative provision for fair remuneration, the legislature has not specified the basis of the calculation or the terms of payment of the remuneration.

 

11. Am I infringing copyright if I watch a movie by streaming it instead of downloading it from the internet?

Viewing of an audiovisual work through streaming technology does not entail infringement, provided that the source of streaming is lawful.

If the viewing of a work through streaming technology entails the creation of temporary copies of the work, the presentation exception and the right of reproduction exception apply.

Legislation includes a mandatory exception regarding temporary reproductions of protected content with no specific economic significance with the sole purpose of allowing transmission on the internet to third parties through an intermediary or the legitimate use of the work. In practice, this means that if a licence has been granted by the rights holder to view a work using streaming technology, this licence covers the temporary reproductions produced during viewing of the work, which are covered under the framework of legitimate use as long as they do not have significant economic significance.

 

12. If copyright-protected works are included into my posts automatically by social media platforms, am I responsible for this and is this a copyright infringement? What if I link to them or embed them in my own website or blog?

When a work is automatically included in posts on a social network site, the poster is not normally liable for copyright infringement given that, according to EU law, the mere fact that a copyright-protected work of a rights holder, which is communicated freely on a website, has been posted on another website via a link using the technical process of ‘framing’ cannot be classified as ‘presentation to the public’.

In addition, if someone posts a hyperlink to a work which has been posted on another web page or website, there is no copyright infringement if the work has been lawfully put on the internet and the introduction of the hyperlink is effected without breaking technical restrictions of access to the particular content which has been uploaded by the rights holder.

However, this does not reasonably cover cases where the work has been put on the internet unlawfully. If it is proved the user is aware that the work to which the hyperlink leads has been placed illicitly on the internet, they may be liable.

 

13. When I create a work and upload it online, terms and conditions of many sites ask for me to transfer my copyright to the site. Does that mean I lose all those rights in them for the future?

According to Cypriot law, the transfer of copyright is valid only if it is effected in writing. This means that the simple use of a website or an internet platform does not constitute acceptance of terms for the transfer of rights that are likely to have been produced. Nevertheless, the express acceptance of the terms by clicking an ‘I Agree’ button may be considered prima facie a valid acceptance of the terms. Given that this is a question of substantial contractual terms for transfer of rights for which no private negotiation has taken place, questions about its invalidity may be raised under contract law and consumer protection law.

 

14. My avatar is based on my favourite movie star, cartoon character or sports club. Can I get in trouble for infringement of copyright or any other legislation because of this?

An ‘avatar’ may be protected by copyright law, especially as regards its visual appearance (the imprint of its image). A ‘character’ may be protected by copyright law.

When a character stems from a literary work, its description in words will be protected as part of the literary work. When it is a comic character or videogame character, its graphic representation will be protected. Consequently, if an avatar reproduces wholly or partly a character from a film or book or elements which distinguish an athletic club (i.e. its mark), its creation and use in public may constitute an infringement of intellectual and industrial property rights. The images of actors or athletes are not protected by copyright, but pictures of them can be protected. When a character is protected by copyright law, there will be an infringement if the distinctive (i.e. original) elements of the character are wholly or substantially reproduced and used in public. Consequently, if the user makes use of non-protected elements of the character, there will be no act of infringement. No infringement is committed if the user makes use of protected elements of the character under an exception, for example the parody exception or the quotation of extracts exception.

It must be noted, however, that these exceptions have a specific field of application and they do not relate to all circumstances of using an avatar when it is reproduced from or based on a protected work.

In addition, depending on the type of use, it is possible that protection may be offered by the legislation on unfair competition.

 

15. How do I know whether a work is offered legally or illegally online? 

It is not easy to ascertain whether or not a work has been posted or published on the internet lawfully. Normally, if a work is accessible through contribution in a database or on a lawful internet content platform, the user/consumer can reasonably conclude that the work has been lawfully put on the internet. The same will apply when the work is offered through an open content licence, as long as the terms of the licence which the author has set are kept. In such cases, if there is a derivative work (i.e. if the work constitutes a modification or revision of another work or if it is based on another work), attention should be paid to keeping to the terms of the original licence on the basis of which the original work was put on the internet.

If a work is found on a website, the user should look for a copyright declaration or notification and ascertain whether the presumed website rights holder is also the creator of the work or whether the website uses works of others. If the creator of the contents of the website (i.e. texts, pictures) protected by copyright law is also the website’s rights holder, the user can reasonably assume that the work has been lawfully put on the internet. However, all these are assumptions, and consequently it would be more prudent for the user who wishes to reproduce, modify or make the work further available to the public to seek the express licence of the copyright holder, if this is possible.

In general, the user should be cautious.

 

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Les réponses à la foire aux questions ont été finalisées à la date indiquée comme étant la date de statut sur le site web. La collecte d’informations actualisées de 27 États membres constitue un exercice de grande envergure. En effet, bien que l'EUIPO s'efforce de maintenir ces informations à jour, une nouvelle jurisprudence ou des réformes législatives peuvent avoir une incidence sur le contenu de la FAQ. Ni l’EUIPO ni aucune autre personne agissant au nom de l’EUIPO ne sont responsables de l’usage qui pourrait être fait de la FAQ.

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