Polish court convicts 'Mein Kampf' publisher over copyright

26th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

Bavarian authorities, who own the rights to Hitler’s tome, say they keep a close guard on the book's copyright in an effort to smother attempts to rehabilitate Nazism and have regularly brought cases against publishers.

Warsaw -- The Polish publisher of extracts of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf Monday was convicted of breaching copyright in a case brought by German officials who aim to stop spreading the Nazi leader's ideas.

Poland's PAP news agency reported that the publisher, identified only as Marek S., received a three-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, from a court in the southwestern city of Wroclaw. He was also fined 2,271 euros (3,178 dollars).

The German state of Bavaria has owned the rights to Mein Kampf since 1945, when Hitler committed suicide as his regime's defeat neared in the closing weeks of World War II.

Bavarian authorities, who say they keep a close guard on the book's copyright in an effort to smother attempts to rehabilitate Nazism, have regularly brought cases against publishers.

They launched their case in Poland in 2005 against Marek S. and his publishing house, XXL. They had sought an eight-month suspended sentence.

In 2007, a Wroclaw court had decided to drop the case, ruling that while the publishing house had breached copyright, it had also acted in good faith and withdrawn the book from shelves and destroyed copies in its possession.

The print-run of the Polish edition was 20,000.

AFP/Expatica

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