Israel Wants to Legalize All Downloading and Torrenting…


So is this the solution?  Just legalize it?

Yes, according to a contingent of  Israeli legislators who feel that consumers are the wrong target.  Instead, a newly-introduced bill would chase mass-uploaders, while allowing consumers take whatever music, movies, games, ebooks, or pornography they please.  In return, a broader tax would help to compensate content creators and media companies.  “The balance of this law is that it would add a tax to manufacturers and importers of equipment used for making copies of disks,” the Jewish Press recently reported.

“Money from this new ‘tax’ would go into a fund that would pay out to musicians and producers.”

Anything would basically be fair game under the proposed bill, including torrenting music discographies, ripping CDs, and swapping hard drives.  MK Meir Shitreet (MK = Member of Knesset in Israeli legislature) introduced the bill, according to Jerusalem-based paper Maariv.  Other MKs are supporting the initiative, and the Jerusalem Press pointed to coordinated involvement with Israeli music rights organization AKUM.

The legislation would also attempt to address the seemingly unenforceable issue of unauthorized sharing and consumption.  Other countries have moved a very similar direction, most notably the Netherlands.

Written while listening to Poliça.

48 Responses

  1. PiratesWinLOL

    Great news. and it seems like a fair and balanced solution. The silly and hopeless witch hunt can’t continue, when it is obvious that it is just a waste of time for everyone.

    • Anonymous

      You’re actually a bit like Israel yourself:

      Both of you think it’s cool to steal from others because neither of you are able to create anything of value, and both of you enjoy teasing the adults like naughty little school boys — you with your goofy nick name; Israel with its walls and illegal occupations.

      I’ll bet you also have a PedophilesWinLOL psedonyms on a handful childcare forums, don’t you?

      • Anonymous

        You goofy fuckers are off to a great start here. This has the potential to top that bizarro Moby thread from last week. That one had pedophiles, nazi’s, Ayn Rand, Ron Paul, trains to Auschwitz, progressives, marxists, jews and discovery moment monetization in one entertaining thread.

      • Intel

        Oh dear – your reference to Israel not being able to create anything of value demonstrates how ill-informed, or indeed, misinformed you are. You really don’t want to post that comment on TechCrunch (lol).

        • Anonymous

          “your reference to Israel not being able to create anything of value demonstrates how ill-informed”

          You’re confusing Jewish and Israeli creativity. The former is remarkable because of its magnitude and international importance; the latter because it’s non existent.

          Israel is not in an easy spot. But it has turned into everything it hates — and everything the rest of the world hates — and proposals like this only continue to jeopardize international relations.

          • PiratesWinLOL

            “…it has turned into everything it hates — and everything the rest of the world hates…”

            You are totally mistaken. There is no universal hate against the country of the Jews, and this consensus only exist in your twisted hateful imagination. Hate against the only democracy in the middle east, is actually limited to a few specific groups: Islamists and (National) socialists. Among many others, Martin Luther King was able to see through all the lies, and recognized what this so-called “anti-zionism” was all about:

            “The anti-Semite rejoices at any opportunity to vent his malice. The times have made it unpopular, in the West, to proclaim openly a hatred of the Jews. This being the case, the anti-Semite must constantly seek new forms and forums for his poison. How he must revel in the new masquerrade! He does not hate the Jews, he is just ‘anti-Zionist’!

          • Anonymous

            Sorry Paul, double!

            The first version took about an hour to show up, so I assumed the mail-eating bots in your basement had gotten their way with it.

          • Intel

            You crack me up. The “remarkable” Jewish creativity you refer to are indeed Israelis, they, (the “Jewish” founders) were (a) born and educated in Israel (b) hold Israeli citizenship and (c) Israeli registered companies. By your logic Apple and Microsoft are not American companies but Christian companies – what a bizarre approach – why would anyone wish to separate the two, unless, of course, it suited their particular agenda ! Merry Christmas 🙂

          • Anonymous

            “The “remarkable” Jewish creativity you refer to are indeed Israelis”

            Ah yes, I love the great Israeli artists Bob Dylan, Lou Reed and Woody Allen. 🙂

          • Intel

            I see – how silly of me – your definition of creative value is purely artistic, and that technology (and related design) has no real creative value. I do apologise.

    • swiss

      Downloading copyrighted material from any sources is indeed not illegal in Switzerland, but uploading is illegal. As you are always uploading when you are using a torrent network, using torrent networks in combination with copyrighted material is also not legal in Switzerland.

      • Anonymous

        “Downloading copyrighted material from any sources is indeed not illegal in Switzerland”

        Wrong — stealing my content is illegal all over the world.

        And the only way to deal with criminal countries like that are international sanctions. Sweden was very close to that scenario while it hosted the pirate bay, and so is Switzerland according to your description.

        • PiratesWinLOL

          International sanctions? Are you serious? You are obviously suffering from a bad case of megalomania… The reality of things is that the music industry is a dwarf, compared to other economic interests nations has. In 2012 the revenue was as little as 16.5 billion USD compared to the 954 billion USD from the Pharmaceutical industry. The Swiss company Novartis alone, is almost 3 times as large as the entire music industry. In several countries, like Brazil and South Africa the patents of this gigantic industry has been blatently violated and what has the reaction been? International sanctions? Not a chance. Now forget your teenage megalomania and realize the fact that you and the music is not very important at all and especially at that level.

          • Casey

            Not to mention that fact that Switzerland is one of the most important global centers for diplomacy.

  2. Anonymous

    “a contingent of Israeli legislators”

    …think it’s OK to steal other people’s countries. So why not steal their movies, music and software as well?

  3. Alex

    In my country (Romania) we already have this law. Editors, producers, authors and performers are entitled to this type of remuneration. It is called “private copy” and basically it adds a tax to manufacturers and importers of equipment used for making copies of disks. This tax is collected by our phonographic union and distributed among it’s members which receive a cote based on the total airplay of your catalog and by the audience of the airplay. The airplay is calculated by monitoring 17 radio stations and 4 music TV channels. Although the fees the manufacturers and importers of equipment pay are low (0.50% from the total value of the equipment or for some devices up to 3% from the total value) it is a needy source of income. But this law in my country does not legalize piracy.

  4. anonymous thief

    Was that rabbi involved in the legislation…
    When does one get to own a country. After 50 100 200 1000 years. I’m clueless but wasn’t 90% of all countries at one point stolen. I say all is fair in war. You cannot attack then lose then claim STOLEN.
    Please educate me…

  5. payload

    how bout we go after the folks who facilitate the commerce of stolen goods???

    ISP’s and Search Engines………and the folks who sponsor the sites that traffic the goods

    consumers (kids) are easy target…………..but they have no lobbying budget

    • PiratesWinLOL

      How about simply adjusting to a reality that is not going to change? After around 15 years with no results, that might be the more realistic thing to do.

    • Anonymous

      “how bout we go after the folks who facilitate the commerce of stolen goods???

      ISP’s and Search Engines”

      Yes, thank you for bringing some common sense to the table.

  6. uh, no.

    funny: just started getting iTunes Israel payments for the first time. this feels like a total scam, that somehow benefits the home country, and not artists at all. i’d rather keep my iTunes Israel sales and receive monies monthly rather than never.

    knowing how inefficiently collection societies work, especially “foreign” ones, and how govt tax organizations work, and how complex calculations would be as to who gets what amount, it is highly highly unlikely that any artists would see any moneys from taxed piraters.

  7. Keith

    Even as someone who hates piracy I actually don’t think this is a bad idea. Targeting downloaders has never been the solution. it makes an enemy of the industry and gives freeloaders ammo to their vacuous “big bad industry” argument.

    I’m all for pursuing the people who upload.

    My main question though, is has downloading been legalized or just decriminalized. There is a difference. I think the latter would be a better solution.

    I’d also be interested to know more about how the tax on importers of equipment. How much will it be? How will it be distributed worldwide? I’m not sure I’ve ever had anything from the Romanian one mentioned above but I know for a fact people have downloaded my music there.

  8. mdti

    would they pay foreign artists too?
    joke or not joke= how would they pay palestinians artists if they don’t recognize this state/people?

    • anon.

      WRONG. its the Palestinians (and plenty of other biased countries) who fail to recognize Israel’s right to exist.
      Its not on even on the map in their geography classes, yet math exercises on ‘how many dead Israeli soldiers is 2+2’ is what they teach their kids… and Hamas carrying Palestinian children as human shields and teaching them to shoot Israeli target since age of 3 is a common practice and I can go on and on but it wouldn’t matter would it…

      We all need to refresh our ‘REAL’ history facts before we throw comments based on couple of articles written by the wrong person. (1947 – UN resolution divides the land governed by the British, to Israel and Palestine, based on demographics, Israel took it and declared independence, all surrounding countries started a war…there was no Palestine before 1948 sorry to disappoint you all…) Oh and Israel is the only democracy in the middle east where Arab citizens have the highest quality of life just ask any of them if they prefer to go to Lebanon or Sirya, maybe Iran…?

      Not all is great or right there just like any country… and its a very complex situation that’s for sure..but a country that size is responsible for all evil in the world? please…somebody been reading to many hatred sources. Only reason you don’t know whats going on in the surrounding countries is because there is no free speech and media is all controlled by the government. Or you know and choose to ignore… it doesn’t take much, just a will to learn what actually is going on. I wonder what you would do if Toronto was bombing Boston and line up suicide men and women at the borders….ready to catch the next bolt bus?

      Amazing how the word Israel shifts the discussion from an intelligent one regarding the actual content of the article to a rage of Anti-Semitism. would it be the same if any other county’s name was up there???

      At any case, interesting to see what Akum has to say and how it played out in other countries. (which by the way im sure did not have this hatred thread of comments attached to that post…)

  9. An Orthodox Jew

    Without commenting on the legistlation, a bit of background on the picture is in order.

    The name of the rabbi in the picture is Rabbi Aharon Leib Steinman. He is a religious figure, and completely apolitical (i.e. he has nothing to do with the Knesset, or anything in this article). The extent of his involvement in copyright law has been to repeatedly tell his followers that copying is wrong on a moral/religious level.

    DMN putting a picture of him up in this context is pure click-baiting, apparently trying to play into some old and ugly stereotypes. Judging by some of the reponses here, it’s paid off. Apparently neither Paul or some commenters here want to allow the facts to get in the way of a good story, on more than one level. Shame on you.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      I’d say, shame on you, for hurling such serious accusations at me without even asking me, or really knowing. You have no idea what I was thinking, but I suppose hurling insults from the veil of anonymity makes it right?


      • An Orthodox Jew

        Paul, thanks for changing the graphic. As regards the rest of your post, I’ll email you directly. Feel free to delete my previous post – I don’t think it has anything further to contribute.

          • Paul Resnikoff

            Not at all. Nothing was altered or removed.

            The image that was being referred to was only on the front door, when this was the lead story. The Pirate Bay Israel image was always part of the story, and the lead-in image from the start.

          • Anonymous

            Good to hear, as the image wasn’t defamatory in any way.

            I think most of us would like to change this and that from time to time — but I’m sure we would hate to succeed.

  10. Observer

    If the tax is going to be on equipment, this is a missed opportunity. The tax should be built into internet access fees, which would generate higher revenues for copyright holders, be more directly associated with the activities that are being legalized, and be more easily distributed proportionally to copyright holders according to usage sampling data.

    • Musician

      The problem with taxing makers of copying equipment or Internet servers is that you are then making everybody pay for the dishonesty of some. People who pay for their music via iTunes would be forced to subsidize people who download illegally. The other problem is, the way these kinds of schemes usually work is there is a finite pool of money which is divided between copyright holders on a percentage basis. The amount of money available to divide doesn’t grow much. But the amount of downloading can expand enormously. So, for example, an indie artist whose tracks account for less than 1% of the total usage of music, and who now gets 99 cents per download would end up getting almost nothing. Also, it robs the creator and copyright holder of the right to decide the price and terms under which he will sell his music.

  11. Johnny Kareem Gagnon

    The state of Israel is a criminal terrorist and racist state from their very beginning,they do not think of other preople ,such as Palestinians,as humans and deserving rights in any way,shape or form….
    Their Prime Minister slices social services on their nation and lavishes himself and spends a million dollars on personal garnishes while politicians in other countries,real countries,place such mafia thieves under arrest.The Israeli government are as arrogant as a wealthy and ruthless dictatorship to the rest of the nations on our planet!

    • PiratesWinLOL

      Okay, get off the computer now. It is time for your injection, Adolph.

  12. Anonymous

    As a creative musician of Jewish heritage, I believe the Zionist policies of Israel are the cause of current day antisemitism. Like many Jews, I strongly disagree with those Zionist policies, just as I disagree that legalizing all downloading and torrenting is the way to go.

    Holocaust Survivor: Zionism = Nazism

    • Anonymous

      “Like many Jews, I strongly disagree with those Zionist policies, just as I disagree that legalizing all downloading and torrenting is the way to go”

      Indeed. It is crucial to distinguish between antisemitism and the way millitant Zionism is criticized by most of the International community.

      Again, Israel has been caught in an extremely difficult situation from day one, and I’m sure we all hope for the best for the entire area.

      But extremist proposals like this just make matters worse for everybody.