The New Copyrights Law

The New Copyrights Law

July 22, 2010

At the end of 2007, after many years of procedure, the Knesset passed the Copyright Law, 2007, which replaced the Mandatory Ordinance that applied until that date. In this article, we will try to briefly review some of the law's innovations, which we consider substantial in our case. .

The new law includes new rights, which update the field of copyright to the modern era, including the new types of media (computers, Internet, etc.) that did not exist when the Mandatory Ordinance was enacted. In the spirit of the period, it is also now possible for the law to create a derivative work, based on a previous work, subject to the consent of the owners of the earlier work and to deal with the rights of the parties in such a case. The law also deals with the case of making a work available to the public in order to allow free access to it, such as uploading an article or play to the Internet, and expands the meaning of the term "fair use", so that today the law includes an updated list of what is considered fair use and infringes copyright. This is no longer a closed list and the court has discretion in accordance with a number of parameters set forth in the law.

If this basic element was missing in the ordinance, today the requirement of originality has been added to the law, which until now was only enshrined in court rulings. Thus, in order for a work to be protected, it is necessary to prove an investment in the work (a relatively easy test) and that the work is not copied from another work and is "the fruit of the creator's spiritual labor."

One of the significant changes in the law, if not the most prominent of them, is the manner in which the compensation is calculated. If until now the court was forced to award an amount of between 10-20 thousand NIS regardless of the actual damage (and thus for uploading a protected image to the Internet for a few minutes a total of 10,000 NIS would have been ruled even though the damage is minimal), now the law provides compensation without proof of damage. Amounts to NIS 100,000 but also defines the tests that the court must consider as the extent of the violation, duration, severity, the actual damage caused to the plaintiff for the court's assessment, the profit accrued to the defendant and the characteristics of the action.

The old arrangement established the moral right - the creator's right to receive credit for his work to the extent and to the extent acceptable and without distortion - as a personal right belonging to the creator. The new law, on the other hand, limited copyright to the test of "reasonableness" similar to the American approach in this area, but on the other hand expanded the moral right so that it is now granted even to the relatives of a deceased artist, something that did not exist in the past

The new law has now created a new situation, which days will tell how the courts will interpret it. It can be assumed that this interpretation will be in accordance with the spirit of American case law more than in the spirit of the old Israeli case law. In this new situation, there is a significant importance for legal assistance by lawyers who are updated in the latest case law.