THE SUPREME COURT: THE SALE OF A DEVICE ENABLING THE BYPASSING OF TECHNOLOGICAL SECURITY TOOLS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A BREACH OF COPYRIGHT

The plaintiff had purchased the exclusive broadcasting rights of the 2006 FIFA World Cup games in the territory of the State of Israel. The defendant sold its clients a device enabling the decryption of encoded satellite broadcasts of foreign networks, which allowed individuals in Israel to watch the games without engaging the applicant.

 

The Israeli District Court found that the defendant had indirectly breached the Israeli Copyright Law of 1911 (such law was later replaced in its entirety in 2007), and ordered monetary restitution. The defendant appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court.

 

The Supreme Court overturned the ruling and found that Israeli copyright laws (both the Israeli Copyright Law of 1911 and the Copyright Law of 2007) do not provide that the bypassing of technological security tools constitutes a breach of copyright. Therefore, the sale of a device enabling the bypassing of encryption does not per se constitute a breach of copyright.

 

The Supreme Court did conclude however that, while the defendant’s actions did not constitute a breach of copyright, it may have unjustly enriched itself on the plaintiff’s account. Therefore, the case was returned for further deliberation to the District Court.

 
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