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Thursday, 26 January 2012

'Mein Kampf' copyright dispute - "foggy" news

The next chapter in the "Mein Kampf" copyright dispute between a British publisher and the Bavarian government (see the earlier IPKat post here):

German news media websites report (also here, here) that the Regional Court Munich on 25 January 2012 blocked the publication of a magazine containing annotated excerpts of Hitler's book "Mein Kampf". The Bavarian Finance Ministry, who owns the copyright in the book, had obtained a preliminary injunction (case reference: 7 O 1533/12) against this planned publication. The publisher, Mr McGee, had expected such a decision and thus decided to completely blur Hitler's original text in his magazine before sending it to the newsstands: basically "Hitler in the fog" (Hitler im Nebel) as a commentator writing for German news site n-tv.de observed. Interested readers can now only read the foreword by a historian and the annotated text but not Hitler's text, which has been blurred to such an extent that Hitler's text is completely illegible.

It appears - the news reports are a bit confusing - that Mr McGee believes that the injunction only prevents the sale of the magazine at newsagents so that he may still be able offer the "unblurred" magazine by mail order. This Kat could not verify whether this is indeed true but would be surprised if there was such a loophole. Bavarian Finance Minister Markus Söder, in the meantime was reportedly pleased with the decision. Mr McGee was disappointed since he believes that the broader public has a right to read Hitler's text which would help to demystify the book to be able understand the full horror of his ideas.

To be continued.... I have no doubt.

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