The development of electronic commerce is crucial for the European
Community and the internal market. The Directive 2000/31/EC sets a legal
frame work for the Electronic Commerce in Europe. (See also the First
Report on the application of the Directive which can be found in the
Internet site of the European Union Law: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/e-commerce/directive/index_en.htm).
This Directive has been implemented to Greek Law by the Presidential Decree 131/2003 and in Cypriot law by the Law 156 (I) 2004.
The Directive a number of obligations of the natural or legal persons
which provide on line economic activity (service providers). The service
providers are not subject to any authorisation. That means that it is
not necessary to obtain a special authorisation to exerce electronic
commerce. However, if national law provides special requirements and
administrative procedure or authorisation in order to exerce a
professional avtivity these requirements must be fullfiled. (see also
article 4 of Law 2251/1994 about consumer protection and distance
contracts which establishes the obligation to be declared to a special
Registry of the Ministry of Development). Information society services
are, in principle, subject to the law of the Member State in which the
service provider is established.
In turn, the Member State in which the information society service is
received cannot restrict incoming services.The Directive covers the
provision of a variety of electronic services :information services,
online selling of products, advertising, professional services, Internet
access services, hosting of contents.
In everyday life information is exchanged between people for every
kind of human activity. Every person should have the right to control
the information related to his person and to choose which information
should be revealed, processed or communicated to others. Personal data
is a special kind of information which is related to an identified or
identifiable person (the “data subject”). The identification can be done
directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identification
number or to one or more factors specific to the physical,
physiological, mental, economic, social or cultural identinty of a
Legal sources in Greece and in Cyprus
Directive 1999/93/EC about electronic signatures was implemented in Greece by the Presidential Decree 150/2001 and in Cyprus by the Law 188 (Ι) 2004.
This Directive has two principal objectives : a) the legal recognition of electronic signatures
and b) the creation of a legal framework about the certification service
A new threat to copyright
Internet file-sharing is based on the technology of « peer to peer ».
Generally, a peer-to-peer (or P2P) computer network is any network that
does not have fixed clients and servers, but a number of peer nodes that
function as both clients and servers to the other nodes on the network.
Peer- to -peer technology itself does not appear to be illegal, because
it’s just in fact a certain type of network. The existence of the
network doesn’t make any infringement itself, but the circulation and
sharing of copyrighted works through the network is an act of
infringement of copyright when it is done without the consent of the
In Intellectual Property Rights sector, we often use the word
“piracy” to determine the total of illegal acts infringing the
intellectual property rights.
There are different and various forms of piracy. Piracy can take place
by the unauthorized making of every act which is covered by the economic
legal monopoly of the author or other rightholder over the work or any
object of related rights, such as the reproduction, the communication to
the public, the broadcasting, the cable transmission or distribution of
material copies of a protected work or of an object of related rights
without the authorization of author or other rightholder and usually for
commercial purposes. Piracy through Internet Sites or via the use of
peer-to-peer networks have become a real threat to the survival of the
effective protection of copyright in the digital environment.
Intellectual Property Protection in the Web
Normal intellectual property principles and rules apply also in
Internet. That means that text, sounds, pictures, animation put on a
Website normally belong to their author or other rightholder and the use
of these work of mind without autorization is illegal except for uses
which normally fall within an exception or limitation, such as
quotations, use for parody or educational uses.