Publishing Mein Kampf can be a struggle

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Today’s question: Who holds the copyright for Mein Kampf, the combined autobiography/political ideology work Adolf Hitler used to lay out his plan for European domination?

A) Hitler’s heirs;

B) No one, as it’s public domain.

C) The German state of Bavaria.

Oddly, the answer is “C,” as a Polish publisher found out recently when he was convicted of copyright infringement and given him a three-month suspended prison sentence and fined 10,000 zlotys ($3,200).

The man, identified only as Marek S. was sued, in line with Polish privacy laws, by the German state of Bavaria, which holds the rights to the book, according to Haaretz.com.

The defendant published 20,000 copies of Mein Kampf in 2005 without seeking Bavaria’s permission.

Making the case even more peculiar is that Mein Kampf is banned in Germany and Bavaria is seeking to block it in other countries for fear it fears it could be misused by right-wing extremists.

Apparently, following World War II the Allies confiscated Hitler’s assets, including copyrights of his books, and gave the to Bavaria, where Hitler lived when writing “Mein Kampf.” All rights will expire in Dec. 31, 2015.

(Hat tip: Ludwig von Mises Institute’s blog)

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