Court Order Blocks Access to Project Gutenberg in Germany
From a Post on an Info Page on The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation:
- On December 30, 2015, PGLAF received notification that a lawsuit had been filed in Germany against it, and its CEO. The lawsuit was concerned with 18 eBooks, by three authors, which are part of the Project Gutenberg collection.
- The lawsuit was filed in the Frankfurt am Main Regional Court.
- The Plaintiff is S. Fischer Verlag, GmbH. Hedderichstrasse 114, 60956 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. They are represented by the law firm, Waldorf Frommer of Munich.
- The essence of the lawsuit is that the Plaintiff wants the 18 eBooks [listed on the web page] to no longer be accessible, at least from Germany. It also seeks punitive damages and fines.
- Based on legal advice from its US attorneys, PGLAF declined to remove or block the items. The lawsuit proceeded, with a series of document filings by both sides, and hearings before the judges (all of which occurred in German, in the German court). PGLAF hired a German law firm, Wilde Beuger Solmecke, in Köln, to represent it in Germany.
- On February 9 2018, the Court issued a judgement granting essentially all of the Plaintiff’s demands.
- PGLAF complied with the Court’s order on February 28, 2018 by blocking all access to www.gutenberg.org and sub-pages to all of Germany.
The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation web page also includes 18 questions asked and answered (about 2000 words) and links to more information.
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Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.