(1) This case involves unauthorized streaming and download of music recordings through the website Unidown. Five Israeli music record companies sued the owners of the website Unidown and several ISPs claiming that the website enables users to listen and download music recording copyrighted by them without authorization. The Website claimed that it merely functions as a “search engine” allowing users to listen to music recordings through youtube.
(2) The District Court found that Unidown should be viewed as an infringing platform which enables the unauthorized download of copyrighted works in disguise of a “search engine”. The Judge claimed the problem is not with the technology but with the use been made of it. The court found with regard to the download function of Unidown, that the website enabled users through other websites to download music recordings unauthorized, and therefore, found it guilty of contributory liability to copyright infringement.
(3) With regard to the streaming option of Unidown, the Court found that since the website was directly connecting users to youtube, there was no direct infringement by the users and therefore, there cannot be contributory infringement with regard to the streaming option.
(4) Since the Judge found Unidown guilty of contributory infringement (for the download function) he does not settle the question of whether embedded links or content the way done by Unidown could give rise to other liability claims such as unjust enrichment or infringement of moral rights, and leaves the question pending.
(5) The Judge claims that finding Unidown guilty of copyright infringement enables the Court to order the sued ISPs to block access or take down the Unidown website. In giving his opinion that the Court can order the ISPs to shut down or block access to an infringing websites, the Judge relies among others on a UK verdict, Sea Shepherd UK v. Fish @ Fish Ltd. 2015 UKSC 10 (March 4, 2015). The Court orders the main defendants (the owners of Unidown) to close the website, and orders the ISP hosting the website to block access to the website and pay attorney fees to plaintiffs. In addition, the Court allows the ISP to appeal the order to block the website in case such action will involve high costs.
Topic, claim, or defense
Lowest Domestic Court
Type of service provider
Host (Including Social Networks)
Internet Access Provider (Including Mobile)
OSP obligation considered
Block or Remove
Type of law
General effect on immunity
General intermediary liability model
Takedown/Act Upon Court Order