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Posted by alvanx at Oct 4, 2010 2:04:21 PM
Re: German Menge-Bibel
Ok, I have to bring this up once more. I was reading about German copyright laws, and I would be very interested in their explanation of their copyright claims. I don't want to say they are making this up, but it seems hardly possible that the DBG could have a copyright for the mere work of digitalizing the text, except if they created a scientific edition (Wissenschaftliche Ausgabe), which they didn't (on their web shop , the mention it is an unaltered reprint (unveränderter Nachdruck).1

The following is an excerpt from the Deutsches Urheberrecht :
§ 2 Geschützte Werke
(1) Zu den geschützten Werken der Literatur, Wissenschaft und Kunst gehören insbesondere:

1.
Sprachwerke, wie Schriftwerke, Reden und Computerprogramme;
2.
Werke der Musik;
3.
pantomimische Werke einschließlich der Werke der Tanzkunst;
4.
Werke der bildenden Künste einschließlich der Werke der Baukunst und der angewandten Kunst und Entwürfe solcher Werke;
5.
Lichtbildwerke einschließlich der Werke, die ähnlich wie Lichtbildwerke geschaffen werden;
6.
Filmwerke einschließlich der Werke, die ähnlich wie Filmwerke geschaffen werden;
7.
Darstellungen wissenschaftlicher oder technischer Art, wie Zeichnungen, Pläne, Karten, Skizzen, Tabellen und plastische Darstellungen.

(2) Werke im Sinne dieses Gesetzes sind nur persönliche geistige Schöpfungen.


(2) states that only personal creative work can be copyrighted in any case. I am still waiting for the reply of a lawyer friend of mine who might have a better idea about this.


As already mentioned, the only exception that I found to this could be if their edition was a scientific edition (Wissenschaftliche Edition). That is because even when a text is in the public domain, there is a 25-year-copyright on a scientific edition. But just fixing up a few things won't make it into a scientific edition (I really hope this is the right English word). A scientific edition would be something like the Novum Testamentum Graece, or Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia.

So, again, it would be really interesting to hear back from them on this...