Cyprus is an attractive destination of tech companies for two main reasons. Because of the attractive tax regime and the intellectual property laws. Holding companies handling intellectual property rights choose also Cyprus for the same reasons. The country offers a great jurisdiction for registration of intellectual property as it combines the copyright protection laws of European Union with the signed treaties and protocols that the republic has signed. Read below, four basic answered questions by the European Union Intellectual Property Office to get an idea on how to protect yourself in this dramatically changing world of technology and innovation. At the EU IP Office webpage you can find all the answers regarding Intellectual property and how to protect yourself or your company. Our firm experts can further help you to register a company under the Cyprus regime and operate in Cyprus or just to hold the copyrights.
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.
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.
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.
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 rights holder or if the use they make of it falls under an exception to copyright. 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.
Pleased follow this link to find answers to all questions abouy Intellectual Property rights in the European Union.