A copyright is an exclusive right of use (subject to the exclusions prescribed in the law), which is given to an artist for a limited period, so that in this period he may benefit from his work economically and morally. The rationale, like any other proprietary right, is giving artists protection and incentive to continue to work and develop their intellectual skills and allow us to enjoy their work.
A copyright is given inter alia for a literary work (including a work expressed in writing, a lecture, table, compilation and computer software), architectural work (a building or other structure, and a model of such a building or structure), a work of art (including application, painting, sculpture, engraving, lithography, map, diagram, architectural work), a cinematographic work (including a television work and any work of similar nature that a cinematographic work or television work).
A condition to the existence of a copyright is a reasonable for originality, i.e. that you were the first person to create the work, the work originates from the artist, that it was not copied from another work (except for a derived right, which is making an original work that is substantially based on another work, such as translation or processing, and that you have invested time and creativity in the work).
The burden of proving the right is sometimes difficult, and is certainly harder than that of other intellectual property rights, in which, as noted, there is a registration mechanism that constitutes evidence of a right. Owing to this, it is important to document the work and prove that you have published the work, along with the date of first publication.
The copyright belongs to the artist, but the law prescribes a number of exceptions. For example, for a work that has been created by order, the first owner of its copyright, in part or in full, is the artist, unless otherwise agreed between the commissioning customer and the artist, explicitly or implicitly.
Conceptually, copyright protection is granted throughout the artist’s lifetime and seventy years after his death, save for exceptions prescribed in the law for a copyrighted record.
The exclusive right of the artist is not absolute and there are a number of exceptions to it that under certain conditions and for certain purposes the work may be used without receiving permission from the copyright owner and without paying consideration. The best known of these is fair use in the case of self-learning, research, reviewing, press coverage, citing references or teaching and examination by an education institute.
Alongside the copyright and right of economically benefiting from it, the artist also has a moral right to the work. This is a personal, moral, nay emotional right, which is nontransferable, unlike his economic right to the work. The right gives the artist the right to have his work named after him to the appropriate degree and extent in the circumstances of the matter, and for his work not to be altered, falsified or tampered with, and for no offensive action to be done to his work if such an action is an affront to the artist’s dignity or reputation.
What is copyright infringement –
A person who uses a work without the permission of the copyright holder is infringing the copyright, unless the action is permitted by law, such as fair use. Copyright infringement may be indirect, in cases in which a party uses, sells, rents out, or distributes commercially an infringing copy of a work, if he knew or should have known that it is an infringing copy.
If it is established within a claim that it is an infringement of copyright or moral right, the court is allowed to award the plaintiff, for each infringement, compensation without proof of damage totaling no more than 100,000 NIS. Within its considerations, the court will take into account the degree of the infringement; the time for which the infringement occurred; the severity of the infringement; the actual damage sustained by the plaintiff, based on the court’s estimate; the
profit that the defendant gained owing to the infringement, based on the court’s estimate; the characteristics of the defendant’s activity; the nature of the relations between the defendant and the plaintiff; the defendant’s good faith.
In this regard, it should be mentioned that infringements that are carried out through a single string of acts will be considered as a single infringement, including in relation to compensation.
And if you are being sued, the defense arguments that are available to you, that the plaintiff is not the copyright or moral right owner, and if he is the copyright owner, you are entitled to protection under the law, including the use of the copyright that is permitted under the law.
Examples include, fair use, incidental use in a work by way of including it in a photographic work, a cinematographic work or record, or using it for legal proceedings.