Originally published April 26 2016
The first conference took place on April 5th. The first part of the conference was dedicated to words in memory of Arnan by his son Adv. Nahum, of Seligsohn and Gabrieli, the second to awarding prizes by son Adv. Ehud, to excelling students of law, and the third to IP lectures: A lecture on Trademarks in Social Media, by Prof. Eric Goldman, and a roundtable discussion on Music Copyright on the internet, with Nahum, Prof. Niva Elkin-Koren from Haifa University, Adv. Haim Ravia from PCZLB, and Adv. Orly Froind-Maya from ACUM.
I had the distinct honour of knowing and working with Arnan, an advocate and a patent attorney, having worked there during 2008-2009. Arnan had a habit of occasionally prowling the office, and was rather gruff in his questions and comments. I also attended a lecture he delivered on plant breeding rights in Israel where he did not pull punches in scathing criticism of the government abusing the Israeli Plants Breeder’s Rights Act in its committee. The workers of Seligsohn Gabrieli had a healthy fear of him. And yet Arnan chose to celebrate his 75th birthday at a local restaurant, in the company of all the workers, many whom had worked at the firm for long years, a sign of the close-knit family atmosphere of the firm, and he attended worker’s personal events and could break a smile.
The major project I did with Arnan was an opposition against an Israeli patent granted to a local armoury company. Having done a year at Shlomo Cohen as a technical specialist, I was familiar with litigation in Israel; however, Arnan’s approach was in a stark contrast to the more throw-the-book strategy I experienced at SC, in the absolute accuracy and conciseness of the manuscript. Indeed, the words of Nahum and other speakers at the Conference echoed my sentiments and experience. I wish I had the opportunity to work and learn more with the modest man who was a living legend.
Eric’s lecture was a good and entertaining refresher regarding trends in the copyright market, such as the decline in the importance of domain names and keyword advertising, after being such a hot topic just two years ago, and the rise of advertising masked as editorial content. The presentation is available here:
The round table discussion was thought provoking. Orly depicted a bleak picture for Israeli artists and performers, that did not benefit so much from globalization due to language barriers yet perhaps suffered just as much as other performance from piracy. However, Haim proposed that the itunes-iphone coupling that offers streaming music for 10$/month, for literally everything in music, discourages illegal copying.
Apparently, Pandora Internet Radio and others have yet to make themselves available in Israel, presumably since piracy is so rampant here and the market is so small anyway. Facebook also does not pay any royalties to ACUM for the usage of music by its members, and Youtube has reduced the advertising content in the clips to reduce royalties payments.
As in many businesses, it seems that the answer for improving their lot is for the performers to become tech-savvy and learn to optimize their exposure on the internet.
The Copyright Act in Israel was updated in 2007 from the archaic 1911 Act and the 1924 Ordinance. Is the 2007 Act already irrelevant?