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Grants:PEG/WM IL/Legal Opinions/Report

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Report accepted
This report for a Project and Event grant approved in FY 2009-10 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
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Project Goal: Obtaining legal opinions pertaining to Israeli copyright law for the purpose of content liberation.

Description of actual activities:

  • Jan-Feb 2010: planning
  • Mar 11th 2010: Commissioned a legal opinion on w:Freedom of Panorama in Israel from the Israeli expert, Dr. Sarah Presenti.
  • April 12th 2010: Expected receipt of the legal opinion (in English).Unfortunately, the legal situation is more complex than previously assumed, and the expert won't be able to deliver the legal opinion without further research.
  • May 1st 2011: Expected receipt of the legal opinion (in English).
  • November 1st 2012: Expected receipt of the legal opinion (in English).

What lessons were learned that could help others succeed in similar projects?

  • Getting a meaningful legal opinion on this murky subject proved quite difficult.

What impact did the project have on WMF mission goals of Increased Reach, Increased Quality, Increased Credibility, Increased and Diversified Participation?

  • The question of "Freedom of Panorama" in Israel is a very complex one. The term itself has never been used in this context, and the Law simply calls it "permitted uses". Having said that, until recently the Israeli Copyright Law was the UK Law of 1911, adopted in Israel in 1936 and translated in antiquated Hebrew. This meant that the UK case law applied when interpreting this Law. After 1948 the Israeli Courts began interpreting Laws independently of UK Courts, and in recent years based their interpretations on US Laws. In 2005 a new version of the Copyright Law was drafted in modern Hebrew, mostly stating that no serious changes have been made to the 1911 Law, but this Law was not accepted and a newer version of 2007 was accepted in 2008, using the 2005 explanatory note, resulting in the following: The terms used by the Law are not explained well in the explanatory note, there is no case law relating to the new Law and the previous case Law may not apply, and Israel has a new Law relating to Freedom of Panorama which no one clearly understands. This conundrum resulted in many disputes in Hebrew Wikipedia and in Wikipedia Commons as to the interpretation of the Law, and hindered Wikimedia Israel in its GLAM projects. The Law allows copying and broadcasting of buildings, statues and "useful art" that is in "public locations", but fails to define "useful art", "public location" and "broadcasting", this Legal opinion aimed at showing the links between the terms used by the 1911 Law and the 2008 Law, and interpreting the above terms for the benefits of Wikipedians and Wikimedians.
  • The full legal opinion can be found here: [1]

Detail of expenditures:

The funds remaining from this grant in the amount of {{{amount}}} were deducted from another grant payment for FDC portal/Proposals/2012-2013 round1/Wikimedia Israel.
  • 13,920 NIS ($3,672) were paid to Dr. Sarah Presenti, the legal expert.

Amount underspent in US Dollars:

  • $1,328

Will you be requesting re-allocation of remaining grant funding? No.