The Israeli Ministry of Justice recently published an opinion that aims to clarify whether and how ventures based on artificial intelligence (AI) may use copyrighted content to train machine learning (ML) models. According to the Israeli Ministry of Justice, the use of copyrighted content to train an ML tool is likely to be permissible as "fair use" under copyright law and will likely not constitute copyright infringement.

The opinion also explains that, in some ML projects, section 22 of the Israeli Copyright Law 2007, which governs incidental uses of copyrighted works, will apply. Further, if the content used to train the ML tool is deleted at the end of the process, section 26 of the Copyright Law, regarding ephemeral works, will apply. The Ministry of Justice believes that these conclusions are consistent with the global trend in the law as applied to machine training.

However, the Ministry of Justice's opinion has some caveats. The opinion does not apply to situations in which the copyrighted content used is not diverse, but rather consists of the works of a few individual creators, particularly when that limited content feeds an AI tool which generates works to compete with these creators in the markets in which they operate. The opinion also does not discuss the output of ML tools. If the output infringes copyrights, the opinion does not create a categorical safe harbour, and a case-specific analysis is required.

The opinion seeks to lift the barrier of legal uncertainty questioning the ability to use copyrighted content to train machine learning tools. It aims to stimulate desirable activity in the ML market and to maximise the competitiveness of Israeli companies.

For further information on this topic please contact Haim Ravia or Dotan Hammer at Pearl Cohen by telephone 972 3 303 9000 or email ([email protected] or [email protected]). The Pearl Cohen website can be accessed at