Producer goes after firms illegally helping stream Israeli content abroad

Moshe Edery, chairperson of Screen IL, has teamed up with major Israeli content creation companies to issue a letter against credit card companies for providing clearing services to the pirate sites

Screen iL on tablet + smartphone  (photo credit: Courtesy)
Screen iL on tablet + smartphone
(photo credit: Courtesy)

An Israeli producer is taking on pirate and illegal sites that broadcast stolen Israeli content worldwide.

Moshe Edery, chairperson of Screen IL, a company that streams Israeli content abroad, has teamed up with most major Israeli content creation companies, among them United King Films, Reshet, Keshet, RGE and Noga Communications, to issue a letter before action against American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Isracard and other credit card companies for providing clearing services to the pirate and illegal sites.

They estimate the damage caused to the rights holders at more than NIS 100 million. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) also filed a complaint against the pirate websites with the London police in Europe and in the US with the FBI and the Department of Justice over copyright violation and money laundering.

Edery released a statement that said, “On behalf of the rights holders in Israel, we have decided not to sit back and have set out on an unprecedented battle against the pirate criminal organizations that trade in Israeli content around the world, violating the law and stealing hundreds of millions of shekels from the Israeli creators over the years. I truly believe that direct viewing on the Internet is indeed the future, but it must be conducted in an organized and legal manner that does not impair Israeli creation.”

There are websites that operate illegally, offering Israeli television content for direct viewing without paying the rights holders for the broadcasting rights and violating the copyrights. Among the most prominent pirate websites currently broadcasting Israeli content for direct viewership abroad are Israel-tv.com, Israel.tv and Sdarot.tv. They often charge each user a monthly subscription fee of tens of dollars, creating a pretense of a legitimate operation.

  DIRECTOR JOSEPH CEDAR (LEFT) talks with Moshe Edery, one of the producers of the Israeli film ‘Footnote,’ in Beverly Hills. (credit: FRED PROUSER/REUTERS) DIRECTOR JOSEPH CEDAR (LEFT) talks with Moshe Edery, one of the producers of the Israeli film ‘Footnote,’ in Beverly Hills. (credit: FRED PROUSER/REUTERS)

“The credit card companies cannot hide behind the claim of not knowing, not hearing or not realizing that the pirate websites are involved in criminal copyright violation and money laundering activities. It is a public activity, conducted openly throughout the Internet and subject of many public legal proceedings in Israel and abroad, as well as multiple items in the media, clarifying that it comprises a criminal and illegal activity.”