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Copyright protection of the design for the common face of euro coins

The designs for the common face of the euro coins were selected after a competition organised at European level. They show three different maps of Europe against a background of the twelve stars of the European Union. In this communication the Commission sets out the system of copyright protection of the designs for the common face of euro coins and reviews the rules on their reproduction.


Communication from the Commission on copyright protection of the common face design of the euro coins [COM(2001) 600 final - Official Journal C 318 of 13.11.2001].


The designs for the common face of euro coins are protected by copyright held by the European Community. The European Commission assigns the rights to Member States who adopt the euro and requires them to ensure that the copyright is respected in their territory.

The reproduction of all or part of the design of the common face of euro coins is allowed in very specific cases, such as reproduction in the form of photographs or films. Reproduction on medals or tokens, on the other hand, is prohibited, on the grounds that this might lead to these objects being mistaken for coins. For any other type of reproduction authorisation must be obtained from either the European Commission (in the case of Member States outside the euro area), or the designated authority in the Member State (for countries within the euro area).

Member States are asked to inform the Commission of the measures they have taken to enforce copyright in their territory, to ensure effective coordination. In the event of unauthorised reproduction, the Member State must take appropriate steps to stop it and to withdraw the reproduction from circulation. The Commission or the Member States of the euro area may prosecute the person responsible under national law.

Last updated: 07.02.2005
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