District Court of Tel Aviv , Civil Action 37039-05-15, ZIR”A et al. vs. Anonymous, Bezeq Ben Leumi et al.

Document type
Court Decision
(1) Several content providers sued ISPs to block access to the websites allowing users to download a streaming software called “Popcorn” which allows users to stream video content off the internet by connecting users to allegedly copyrighted content through other sites. The content providers also requested the details of users making use of Popcorn.
(2) The court mentioned the UK case about the use of Popcorn software, Twentieth Century Fox Corp. v. Sky  UK  Ltd., 2015 EWHC 1082 (Ch). However, the Court relied on the Israeli Supreme Court Ruling in 4447/07 Rami Mor vs. Barak ITC (1994) Bezeq international, with regard to revealing the indemnity of users of ISP. The Judge ruled that at this stage when the infringement was not proved, and it was not proved that the defendant was liable or has caused damages to plaintiffs there is no room to provide an injunction to the ISPs compelling them to reveal the identities of ISPs users.
(3) The Judge differentiated this case from NMC United Entertainment LTD et al. vs. Bloomberg et al. (see below), on several grounds, one of which was the nature of the proceeding in this case, a preliminary injunction, and the nature of the alleged infringement. The Judge added that in this case, the burden on the ISP is much harsher since shutting down a single website is not the same as monitoring and closing each website which enables users to download the Popcorn software. In addition, the Judge noted the risk of asking ISPs to function as internet censors, against the damage to plaintiffs’ copyrights. The Judge noted that when the legal solution of asking ISPs to censor websites is not efficient and there is a risk of hurting the flow of information, without establishing proper scope of operation for the ISPs and without introducing the checks and balances by the legislative branch, then the balance of burden does not allow the court to approve such a preliminary injunction.
(4) The Court in addition declined to approve the settlement between the sides, on the grounds that the claims of the users and of the Attorney General of Israel were not submitted to the Court, therefore, he did not approve it as a verdict. 
Topic, claim, or defense
Document type
Court Decision
Issuing entity
Lowest Domestic Court
Type of service provider
Internet Access Provider (Including Mobile)
OSP obligation considered
Block or Remove
Data Retention or Disclosure
Type of law
General effect on immunity
Strengthens Immunity