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Will downloading music and movies from the Internet, in Israel, soon become legal?

MK Meir Shitreet (Hatnuah) along with other MKs have proposed a bill that would make it legal for home users to download and copy movies and, songs from the Internet and copying disks. The law, if passed, would only make it legal for personal use, but not for selling. The balance of this law is that it would add a tax to manufacturers and importers of equipment used for making copies of disks. Money from this new “tax” would go into a fund that would pay out to musicians and producers.

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This law has been formulated in coordination with AKUM -the organization that works to protect the rights, copyrights, of musicians and producers.

This was reported this morning in the hard copy of Maariv newspaper today.

The halachic position on such downloads has been debatable until now. I have  heard a wide range of piskei halacha on the topic. I think that this law would make the entire discussion moot. For those who say it is a halachic problem to download, I think it is only because legally the music/movies are copyright protected. Once it is legal to download and therefore the artists expect it to be downloaded and know they are getting their money from a specific source, I see no reason for those opinions to remain with a halachic issur.

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Rafi Goldmeier is a blogger at the Life in Israel website, and works in real life as an IT consultant living with his family in Israel for over 30 years.
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