Will boycotts of Israel mean a ban on Jewish festivals in Spain?
Censorship , Licensing , Live Events / December 2015

LICENSING / CENSORSHIP Live events sector   A left wing lawmaker from the Spanish city of Cordoba said that a local Jewish music festival would need to be rethought if a motion she had submitted in favour of boycotting the state of Israel passed.   Europa Press reported that Amparo Pernichi, Cordoba’s alderwoman for landscape and infrastructure, had linked Israel to the music festival during a news conference earlier this month and following controversy in local media over her statements, the draft motion was rejected by the Cordoba City Council on Nov. 10.   However, a similar motion passed the same day in the northern city of Santiago de Compostela. At the November 4th news conference Pernichi, who represents the United Left party, was asked whether her draft motion would spell the end of the International Sephardi Music Festival. The festival has been held since 2002 in Cordoba, a city in southern Spain that was a major cultural hub for Jews before their expulsion from Spain in the 15th century. Spanish Jews once constituted one of the largest and most prosperous Jewish communities in the world. This period ended definitively with the Alhambra decree of 1492, as a result of…

Madonna hacker gets 14 months
Copyright , Criminal Law , Internet / August 2015

COPYRIGHT / CRIMINAL Internet, recorded music   Adi Lederman who hacked and released a number of unfinished and demo tracks from Madonna’s Rebel Hart album in December 2014 when it was a work in progress has received a 14-month jail sentence from the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court on Thursday as part of a plea-bargain deal following his conviction for cyber crimes against the pop singer. Lederman, a former contestant on Kochav Nolad, Israel’s version of ‘Pop Idol’, hacked into Madonna’s computers last year, having accessed passwords from the email accounts of her manager and musical director. It’s thought Lederman also accessed part of the singer’s work schedule in addition to the unfinished tracks from her album ‘Rebel Heart’. He was charged with computer trespassing, fraud, and intellectual property offences against the superstar, After the leak Madonna released six tracks and moved up the release date of the full album to March saying “I have been violated as a human and an artist!”  Lederman had previously stolen a song from Madonna in 2012, which he sold rather than leaking himself. Lederman was also fined NIS 15,000 (US $4,000)  by the court, which said its sentence should “send a message of deterrence” and uncompromising commitment to the law to…

Israeli arrests after lighting rig collapse in Jerusalem
Health & Safety , Live Events / November 2012

HEALTH AND SAFETY Live events sector   Judges in Jerusalem have extended the detention of four people arrested on suspicion of involvement in the collapse of a lighting rig at Mount Herzl in Israel, which killed a woman soldier and injured seven others. IDF 2nd Lt. Hila Bezaleli, was killed during rehearsals for the Independence Day ceremony at the national cemetery site. Initially three suspects were held: Oren Warshavsky, who was said to have been the engineer for the rig; Itzik Zucker, the site’s safety manager; and Elad Lavi, the vice president of Itzuv Bama, the firm that had been the successful bidder to produce the Independence Day event. All three were ordered to be released by a magistrate’s court judge but at the request of the police, the order was stayed to give the police an opportunity to appeal to the District Court and explain the responsibilities, relationships  and working practices at the site. District Court Judge Joseph Shapira ordered the three to remain in custody. Although Magistrate’s Court Judge Haim Li-Ran had initially taken the police to task for acting too quickly to arrest the three, Judge Shapira ruled the action was justified out of concern that the…

US puts Canada on the naughty step
Copyright / June 2009

COPYRIGHT All areas The US has added Canada to a list of its top twelve of countries which persistently fail to protect intellectual property rights alongside China, Russia, Algeria, Argentina, Chile, India, Indonesia, Israel, Pakistan, Thailand and Venezuela  While there has been much criticism in the past from the US and elsewhere regarding Canada’s copyright laws, and their failure to take on physical bootleggers as well as the ever growing population of online pirates, it is the first time the Americans have put their Northern neighbours on their “priority watch list” of IP abusers. The report from the US Trade Representative that revealed Canada had been added to the watch list noted: “We urge Canada to enact legislation in the near term to strengthen its copyright laws and implement relevant World Intellectual Property Organisation treaties [which Canada signed up to over a decade ago but never incorporated into its copyright laws]. The United States also continues to urge Canada to improve its IP enforcement system to enable authorities to take effective action against the trade in counterfeit and pirated products within Canada, as well as curb the volume of infringing products transshipped and transiting through Canada”. Read more on ‘At…

Israel clamps down on P2P sites
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / November 2005

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Internet Israel’s rampant culture of internet copyright infringement is the bane of global trade bodies but Israel has now clamped down on file swappers. Israel has been a haven for early adapters of modern technology and has one of the highest internet use rates in the world – but has little in the way of legal controls againt online piracy and peer-2-peer file swapping. But now the Haifa District Court has ruled against music file-sharing websites including Shift, Lala, Lionetwork, and Subcenter. The lawsuit was filed by 27 music recording companies, including Hed Arzi Ltd., Helicon Ltd., and NMC Music Ltd. The IFPI presented the NIS 500,000 claim. The petitioners claimed that the sites were violating their copyright. The sites’ operators were ordered to pay an interim sum of NIS 500,000 until damages to the petitioners are assessed. The lawsuit follows the US Supreme Court’s decision at the end of June that on-line file-sharing services Grokster and Streamcast could be held liable for copyright infringement if they encouraged Internet users to illegally copy movies and music from each others’ computers. The long-awaited ruling was seen as a key test of copyright law in the digital era. Source…