Copyright protects your artistic, musical, or literary creation, including software, sound recordings and photographs.

Our copyright connected services include:

  • advice on copyright ownership and infringement
  • enforcement of copyright
  • advice on acquiring copyright in works owned by third parties
  • negotiate and draft copyright licensing and assignment agreements

Copyright in Israel

Copyright protects original works, such as literary, artistic, dramatic and musical creations. In an amendment to the Copyright Ordinance, 1924 , computer software has been included in the definition of "literary work". In order for a work to qualify for copyright protection, it needs to be original and show that some effort has been invested in creating it. It is not necessary for the work to have artistic or creative “merit”. The protection of copyright arises automatically upon the creation of an original work and does not depend upon a system of registration. Copyright does not protect ideas but only their tangible form. Therefore, copyright comes into existence once, and only after the original work has been shaped into its tangible form.

Israel is a member of the Berne Convention, which provides for reciprocal copyright protection. That is: a work created in Israel will be protected and its copyright enforceable in any member country of the Berne Convention as if it were created in that country (and vice versa).

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the owner of the copyright?
The initial owner of the copyright is the author of the work. In a case where more than one author collaborate on a work, then each owns the part of the work that he/she created. If it is not possible to separate between the parts, then the authors are co-owners. If a work was created by an employee within the scope of his/her employment, then the copyright belongs to the employer, unless otherwise agreed.

How long does copyright last?
The term of copyright protection is generally either for the life of the author plus 70 years, or 70 years from the year of publication, depending on the circumstances.

Why is it important to give a copyright notice?
A copyright notice informs the public that copyright protection is claimed and directs interested parties to whom to apply for permission to use the work. Infringers will not be able to claim that they were not aware that the work is copyrighted.

How do I phrase my copyright notice?
Below the copyrighted text, the word COPYRIGHT, the copyright symbol, ©, the name of the person or organization who owns the copyright and the date of first publication and last update of the work should appear, as follows: COPYRIGHT © XXXXXXXX, 2004-2006. All copyrighted works such as instruction booklets and computer programs should be marked with a copyright notice.

What exclusive rights do I have under copyright?
The owner of copyright in a work is granted certain exclusive rights with respect to the work. These rights amount to control over the work’s commercial exploitation i.e. the right to publish the work, the right to reproduce the work, to sell and rent copies, and to convert the work into different media. The author of the work is also granted a "moral right". Under moral right, the author has the right to always be acknowledged as the author of his/her work, even after the work is not owned by the author anymore. Also, his/her work must not be treated in any destructive or derogatory manner.

When is copyright infringed?
Copyright is infringed by the exercise of any of the above exclusive rights without the permission of the copyright owner, i.e. by the reproduction of a whole or substantial part of a work by a third party. It is necessary to establish that there was actual copying of the work. Copyright, however, provides no protection against independent development of the same or similar works.

How can copyrights be commercially exploited?
Copyright is an asset in the same way as any other tangible property: it may be sold or licensed, in whole or in part. Copyright consists of various rights and their exploitation may be divided into different licenses. The author of a best-selling book may e.g. sell the rights to make a movie from the book to a film production company, but retain the right to develop a TV series. Additional licenses may be given to a toy company reproducing the book's characters and a software company developing a video game based on the book and its characters.

How do copyright, patent and design overlap?
The Copyright Law, 1911 states that copyright protection will not be awarded to works that can be registered as patents or designs. Designs intended to be mass produced will not be protected under copyright. Only designs that are "one of a kind" and not intended for exploitation on industrial scale are copyright protected. On the other side, software programs are specifically protected under copyright as literary works and therefore will usually not be registered as patents.


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