BRUSSELS — The European Union, the United States and Greece have settled a bitter three-year dispute over Greek television piracy.
The issue dates back to 1998, when the U.S. administration’s annual review of intellectual property rights protection around the world singled out Greece as the “most serious violator” of intellectual property rights.
In all, it found that about 150 Greek TV stations were broadcasting American movies and TV shows without giving any compensation to U.S. copyright holders — and there were no effective remedies available for rights holders to fight these infringements.
At that point, the United States had launched proceedings under the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism to force Greece to comply with its obligations under the WTO’s trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights agreement on intellectual property rights.
However, in the end, no official complaint was made, and Greece has since worked hard to fully implement EU legislation in the copyright field.
The Greek authorities have improved their provisions for enforcing breaches of copyright and have also implemented further measures at the national level to combat piracy.
The EU, Greece and the United States have now sent a joint letter to the WTO asking its Dispute Settlement Body to close the file.