New Notice & Take-Down procedure for On-line infringement in Greece

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On January 22, 2016 public consultations on the national law putting into effect the Directive 2014/26/ΕΕ on collective management of copyright and related rights and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online use in the internal market were concluded. 

Among the new provisions introduced by this new law are those regarding a new notice & take down procedure for copyright infringement on the Internet through the Hellenic Copyright Organization (HCO). 

Article 43 of the draft Greek law (which implements Article 36 para. 2 of the Directive) provides that collective societies and their members, right holders and users as well as other interested parties could notify the Hellenic Copyright Organization (HCO) in writing on possible copyright infringements. HCO shall then notify the complainant regarding receipt of the notice within 2 working days and shall investigate the infringing activity, even through on-site investigations. The party involved in the infringing activity is also notified as regards the complaint and has the right to respond within 12 working days. In case the copyright infringement is confirmed by the results of the investigation, the HCO is entitled to impose sanctions such as issuance of compliance order (take-down) and imposition of fines. 

The above administrative procedure is expected to have a significant practical impact on Internet Service Providers (ISPs), web hosting providers and Internet intermediaries in general. 

The draft law is expected to be finalized soon and then it will be subject to vote by the Greek Parliament. It will be interesting to see how this provision will be formulated following consultations (although only two comments were made with respect to the said provision, none of which was addressed to the wording of it; therefore we are not expecting to see significant deviations from the draft) and, primarily, how it will be invoked and enforced in practice.