At the beginning of 2017 new copyright and related laws were enacted, designed to protect the rights of creators and performers as well as the interests of record companies.
In February 2017, the Law for the Protection of Artists’ Rights in Music, 5777-2017 was enacted. The Law is a result of a long legal battle waged by singer and composer Aya Korem against production companies, in particular against their policy of signing long term exclusivity agreements with artists at an early stage of their career. The new law imposes a limitation on the duration of the contractual engagement between a musician and a producer, publisher, impresario or personal manager. Accordingly, as of the commencement of the law, an exclusive agreement for an unreasonable period would not be enforceable.
The law sets out rebuttable presumptions as to what would be regarded unreasonable periods under various circumstances. According to one such presumption an exclusive contract period is deemed unreasonable if it exceeds seven years; regarding so-called 3600 contracts, or “3600 deals”, i.e. a contract covering all aspects of the artist’s artistic activity, there is provided a specific presumption according to which if the term of such contract is more than five years it is deemed unreasonable.
In parallel to the enactment of the Law for the Protection of Artists’ Rights in Music, the Knesset amended the Copyright Law, in March 2017, by extending the copyright period on the records from 50 years to 70 years. Similarly rights of performers were extended from 50 years to 70 years. The amendment was made in light of the fact that the prior law granted records protection of 50 years from the date of their creation and the same period for performances of performing artists.
These two laws indicate that the music industry in the country is keeping up not only in its artistic aspects, but also in its legal aspects.