New Copyright Statute for Israel

Some time ago I posted an update about the planned copyright reform in Israel. The Israeli copyright law now passed legislation and the text of the new statute is available for download here. You don’t get the chance to write your copyright law from scratch very often, maybe once or twice in a century. This law indeed replaces an anachronistic statute from 1911 and it is remarkable in several respects.

It is a fairly skinny copyright act (16 pages in the format I have). In addition to the usual economic rights it also protects the moral rights of attribution and integrity. It contains the only Copyright Act-style fair use provision outside of the United States I’m aware of. This fair use provision has an interesting addition: Alongside the familiar four-factor test designed for courts, the law authorizes the minister to articulate the conditions under which uses shall be considered fair. The law further contains an E.U.-style making-available right and, among other exceptions, a liberal and elaborated exception concerning the reproduction of computer programs.

All in all, I think it is a very sensible piece of legislation. Some complain it ignores the Internet and the problems of the information society. Maybe. In fact, there is absolutely nothing in this law about legal protection to technological protection measures and copyright management systems. If anything, it is a proof that there are other ways to do copyright legislation for the new Millennium, with an old fashioned flavor, so to speak.

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