Bavaria Contemplating Making Mein Kampf Freely Available When Copyright Runs Out in 2015

Mein Kampf (My Struggle), written in 1924 while Hitler was languishing in a Bavarian prison, was the manifesto of the Nazi Party and is a vicious anti-Semitic tract and rambling memoir.

The book is not banned in Germany but the state of Bavaria claims copyright in Mein Kampf. Until now, they’ve suppressed the book and have used their control of the copyright to prevent others from publishing the book.  As of 2015, the book enters the public domain and so this will no-longer be possible.

Apparently, the Bavarian state has announced that it would release and widely distribute an edition with historians’ commentary as well as a separate version for schools in 2015 in order to beat commercial publishers.

Bavarian Finance Minister Markus Soeder defends this on the grounds that the tract must be “de-mystified” and calling on the federal German government to get involved.


I do not think that copyright law should be (mis)used to keep a book out of publication. If the issue of racist hatred, incitement to violence, anti-Semitism, etc.  outweighs the issue of Freedom of Speech, then distributors of the book should be prosecuted for disseminating the literature. In the Internet age, I don’t think that it is possible to suppress a book anyway.

Bavarian plans to publish the book and distributing it for free or for less than commercial costs of distributing means that the Bavarians are continuing the Nazi party policy of subsidizing and distributing the work. From 1936 it was a Nazi Party present to newly-weds. Up until 1945, some 10,000,000 copies were sold in Germany.  this Bavarian plan seems designed to continue Hitler’s plan of making sure that the book is widely read.

Categories: Copyright, infringement, Intellectual Property, Uncategorized

1 reply

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