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Statutory Damages for Every Copied Image

March 1, 2004

In two cases the Jerusalem District Court ruled that a copyright infringer is required to pay statutory damages for each image downloaded from plaintiff’s web site.


The cases of Marot Image Ltd.. v. Redix Technologies Ltd. and Marot Image Ltd. v. Reut Electronics involved images copied from plaintiff’s website (plaintiff is the representative in Israel of the US company Getty Images, an international licensor of photographs, which was an additional plaintiff). The defendant in the first case used 7 of plaintiff’s images on its website, while the defendant in the other case (a website builder) used 71 of plaintiff’s images in both its website and its clients’ websites.


Honorable Judge Shapira, presiding over both cases, held that statutory damages should be granted for each copied image (statutory damages in Israel are 10,000 to 20,000 NIS – according to the current exchange rate 4,500 USD). The court added that due to the simplicity of digital infringement courts should impose damages that will deter future infringements.


It should be noted that in both cases the parties reached a procedural understanding for resolving the case, leading to substantially lower compensation (known as 79A ruling under the Israeli Court Act), but the court still spelled out the principle that each copied image entitles the copyright owner to receive separate statutory damages.

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