Some of our readers may recall the IPKat's reports of 2009 on the Zeitungszeugen case which concerned a copyright battle between the Bavarian State government and a British publisher relating to the re-publication of historical Nazi newspapers in an educational reprint series. (see the IPKat's earlier posts here, here and here). The IPKat then reported in 2010 that the Institut für Zeitgeschichte (Institute of Contemporary History, "IfZ"), a German history institute based in Munich, planned to prepare an annotated version of Adolf Hitler's controversial book "Mein Kampf" (in English: "My Struggle") for publication in Germany after 2015.
According to various press reports (here, here, here) British publisher Peter McGee, who is also behind Zeitungszeugen, has now also announced his plans to publish selected excerpts of "Mein Kampf" in Germany and it appears he does not want to wait until 2015. He claims he wants "demystify" the "unreadable" book and his excerpts will include a column of the original text next to a column of historical and critical comment.
As to be expected, the Bavarian State Government is not pleased, reports Der Spiegel, and the Bavarians will try to block the publication since "permission to publish the prints is neither granted in Germany nor abroad."
So should the Bavarian State government still try to police the content of the book and should this be done via copyright law when really this is a political decision?