Jerusalem, 10 August 1999

Industry Minister Cohen to Fight Copyright Infringement

(Communicated by Industry and Trade Ministry Spokesman)

Minister of Industry and Trade Ran Cohen yesterday (Monday) 9.8.99, stated his intention to request a budget of NIS 8 million for an advertising, education and information campaign to fight copyright infringement and the illegal duplication of copyrighted products in Israel.

The campaign’s objective is to make the public aware of the illegality of purchasing such products and to change its purchasing behavior in order to make it a full partner in the struggle against the illegal duplicating of computer software and programming, CDs, clothing and other products which damages Israel’s economy and international image. Financial damage to local and international industry is currently estimated at an annual $100 million each for the CD and computer software industries and $30 million for the film industry according to industry sources.

Industry Minsiter Cohen and Justice Minister Yossi Beilin jointly decided to urgently convene an interministerial forum on combating the theft of intellectual property. The forum will be headed by the Director-General of the Industry and Trade Ministry and will include the directors-general of the Justice, Public Security, Finance and Education Ministries and officials from the police, customs authorities and the Coordinator of Activities in the Territories. Its agenda will include:

1. Amending current laws, and legislating higher penalties for copyright forgery;

2. Increasing police personnel and the establishment of a police unit to coordinate intelligence, investigations, enforcement and the confiscation of forged products;

3. Cooperation between government and private sector bodies;

4. Cooperation with the Palestinian Authority and the establishment of a joint committee that will handle complaints. The Palestinian Authority areas are the source of many illegally copied goods.