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Law No. 988/1943 Complementary Provision of the L. 1909, “Dramatic Works Copyright”


LAW 988/1943 Official Gazette: Α 409 19431201



  1. The determination of the percentage of copyright of each dramatic work delivered and performed on stage is executed through a free agreement between the author and the theatre entrepreneur or manager; however, the specific percentage in no way should be agreed below the limits described in the following paragraphs: a) 10% of the gross takings after the deduction of the public views tax and all the additional taxes for each dramatic work delivered by the author and performed on stage, comprising three acts or more, or, for each dramatic work comprising one or two acts covering the whole program of the theatrical performance. b) 7% for each dramatic work comprising two acts that do not cover part the whole program of the theatrical performance. c) 4% for each dramatic work comprising one act intended to complete the theatrical performance. d) 10% for translations of a classical dramatic works, ancient or contemporary, as well as for adaptations of classical dramatic works, ancient or contemporary. e) 5% for translations of dramatic works of the contemporary international repertoire.
  2. In case a dramatic work is performed on stage without the permission of the author or other rightholder, the aforementioned rights are collected, with a 2% increase for each category described in section 1 of the present article.
  3. In case of short acts (i.e. sketches or variety turns) performed on a theatrical stage or a variety theatre, all the provisions prescribed in paragraph 1 of the present article are applicable, with the minimum percentage will be not under 6%, provided that the short stories included in the performance are at least five, and will be not under 10% if the short acts included are six or more.
  4. The abovementioned rights for each performance should be immediately accredited to the rightholder or to the lawful representative (Association, Company or Union). The payment is proven in a written form only.
  5. In case of a non payment of the copyright within two days, the rightholder or his lawful representative (Company, Association or Union) are entitled to request from the competent authority described at the next paragraph of this article, to prohibit the performance, even if a public performance license has been granted.
  6. The prohibition is ordered by the First instance District Attorney of the place the performance is held or by the Magistrate of the region for performances held in towns and villages that are out of the seat of the Court of the First instance.
  7. Provisions of paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 of the present article are applicable also to the works of music composers, as well as translators and adaptation specialists of foreign dramatic works, with the rights of the authors of the original works reserved.
  8. The provisions before and after paragraph 4 of the present article are implemented also for the copyright rightholders of film works.


The agreement between an author and a theatrical entrepreneur should be concluded in written, the document being a substantial element of the contract. A copy signed by the signatories should be submitted within three days after its signing to the Greek Theatrical Writers Society or it should be delivered to its legal representative within the aforementioned deadline in case when the dramatic work should be performed at the province.


Any agreement between the author and the theatrical entrepreneur by which the copyrights agreed are below the lowest limits described in article 1 of this law, should be considered invalid and in any case the author can claim by the theatrical entrepreneur at least the lowest percentage of copyright, as defined in article 1 of this law.


The Greek Theatrical Writers Society should in all cases collect copyright; in case the author is not a member of the Society, a 3% deduction of the collected amount is entitled to the Society. When the author is a member of the Society, the right of the Society is defined at its statute.


In all advertisements related to the dramatic work, the name of the author should be mentioned.


Any infringement of the herein leads to a prosecution of the violator; the penalty may be a 3 month imprisonment and a fine up to 300500.000 drachmas; the plaint is lodged and by the Greek Theatrical Writers Society and is summoned by the Misdemeanour Court within ten days after the submission.


The enforcement of this law starts from the day of its promulgation in the Official Gazette.