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Israel: New Copyright Law

(Dec. 2, 2007) On November 19, 2007, the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) passed the Copyright Law, 5768-2007. This Law replaces the British Copyright Law of 1911 and the Mandate Ordinance of 1924. The 2007 Law will become effective six months after publication. The Law recognizes copyright as applicable to original creations – literary, artistic, dramatic, or musical – as well as recordings, as long as they have a link to Israel or are protected under a decree issued by the Minister of Justice in accordance with a treaty between Israel and another country.

The Law extends the list of types of use that are either permitted or considered fair use. Among them are the use of a creation in legal or administrative proceedings; copying of a creation that is deposited by law for public review; indirect use of a creation by inclusion in another creation such as a photograph, a film, or a record; copying of computer software for backup or maintenance; and use of a creation for broadcast; as part of an educational activity; in libraries, etc. The Law extends the period in which copyright applies to the lifetime of the creator or, in the case of a joint creation, the last creator remaining, to 70 years after his death. Seventy years of protection applies to anonymous creations, and 50 years is applicable to records and creations owned by the state. The Law further recognizes moral rights, entailing the creators' rights to name the creation and to be protected from any change or action offensive to the creation that can harm the creator's honor or name. (Copyright Law, 5768-2007, the Knesset Web site.)