Israel to Consider Legalizing Downloading

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Over in Israel, there are plans afloat to legitimize downloading.

According to reports in the print newspaper Ma’ariv earlier this week, Members of the Knesset (MK) Meir Sheetrit and others will be presenting a bill soon to legalize downloading of copyrighted material.

Alleged losses will instead be compensated via levies.

While levies are not always the fairest way (because they assume every use of a levied technology is an infringing one) it will reduce the pressure to legislate extensively on online behavior, a trend we’ve seen in copyright-lobby heavy countries like the US and UK.

The law is apparently supported by the Israeli collecting society ACUM, who have a powerful and well-connected supporter in Meir Sheetrit (who has held several ministerial positions over the last 15 years, including Justice).

The main issue has been one of religion, specifically Halakha, which we looked at several years back. With this new law though, it could probably remove any lingering doubts on that front from those who have resisted until now.

When we have more details on what would be levied and for how much, we’ll follow this up.

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