Hebrew University administration building
The administration building at Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Photo by Asaf Efron
Text size
related tags

Though openness was the theme at yesterday's Hebrew University press conference announcing the expansion of its online Albert Einstein archive, that openness doesn't extend to the right to download or disseminate the newly available material without the university's approval.

The rights to the famed scientist's name and likeness, which Einstein bequeathed to the university along with his papers, bring in about $1 million a year in licensing revenues.

Hebrew University doesn't let just anyone pay for the right to use Einstein's name or image, though.

In 2010 it asked General Motors to stop putting Einstein's head on the body of a bare-chested male model for car ads the university deemed inappropriate. Around the same time, the Israeli cellular firm Pelephone was asked to stop using the bushy-haired physicist's name in its advertising campaign.

Last year Hebrew University sued a photography shop in Petah Tikva for NIS 20,000 for the unauthorized use of Einstein's likeness. The university later withdrew the demand when the shop alleged that the company hired to protect the use of Einstein's image had entrapped the merchant.