The Cyprus Intellectual Property protects Cypriot nationals for their work, notwithstanding the place of publication and defines the word “copy” as follows: “Whatever is reproduced directly or indirectly with the form of a document, sound recording, registration with electronic or other means or with any other tangible form, but in such a way so that an object is not considered as copy of an architectural plan unless that object is a building or a model”.

Copyrights in Cyprus are regulated by the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Law of 1976 to 2006 (Law No. 59/1976, as amended by Laws 63/77, 18/93, 54(I)/99, 12(I)/2001, 128(I)/2002 and 128(I)/2004 and 123(I)/2006.

Copyright is the statutory right to stop others copying or exploiting in any other way original work, i.e. artistic work, literary work, music recordings, broadcasts, computer software etc, without permission from the owner of such rights.

Rights are recognised under the Law for every protected object whose beneficiary is at the time of the creation of the right, or in the case of a broadcast, the time of the transmission of the broadcast, a qualifying person, namely:

• A person who is a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus or who habitually resides in the Republic;
• A legal person, established in accordance with the laws of the Republic; or
• A citizen of another member state of the European Union.

 Protection against Infringement

The Right of Intellectual Property Law provides remedies for copyright infringement.

For the criminal offences listed in the Law, penalties include a fine or imprisonment for up to three years.

The court may order the offender to destroy any copies of the work in his/her possession or to deliver them to the copyright owner.

Civil remedies include damages, destruction or delivery of infringing copies and the equipment by which copies are produced, an account of profits and an injunction.

Duration of Registration & Protection

Copyright exists in:

• Scientific works, literary works including computer software, musical works, artistic works including photographs and an original database for a period of 70 years, commencing from the death of the author;
• Films, for a period of 70 years, commencing from the death of the last survivor of the following, irrespective of whether they have been appointed conventionally, or are considered by law, as co-creators;
• producer;
• primary director;
• script writer;
• screenplay writer;
• composer of any music specially composed for the film.