After several years in the works, the Knesset finally approved the Israel Copyrights Act. The act's new guidelines are scheduled to take affect by mid 2008.
The new law, approved earlier this week, relies on the 1911 English statute and the 1924 British mandatory order and is meant to legalize the use and define the misuse of one's work.
The new act is considered a victory for creators, who have been protesting the misuse of their work and the violation of their copyrights for the past several months.
"We're very pleased with the new guidelines… the new law will allow us to go back to creating," Yaakov Rotblit, a lyricist and one of the protest's most outspoken leaders, told Ynet.
"We were able to regulate ownership of spiritual assets and push for greater protection of the creators' reputation," he added.
Pending court approval
The new act does allow for temporary copy allowances, should those be made as part of other legal uses of one's work, and makes several exceptions for cases involving journalistic writing and pre-commissioned work. These, like many other new guidelines, are still pending court approval.
"I'm sorry that the journalists were not able to prevent the handing over of the rights to their work to the publishers… that weakens the power of journalism and makes the border between journalism and entertainment even more vague," said Rotblit.
The new act further broadened the definition of "predetermined public use" to include not only research and review but also teaching.
One of the Copyrights Act's major achievements is expanding the length of time people may hold the rights to their work: according to the new guidelines, copyrights will be enforced for the duration of the creator's life and for 70 years after his death.
The law also stipulated a mandatory monetary compensation of $25,000 in case of breach of copyrights.
Merav Crystal and Dr. Michael Birnhack contributed to this report