[rohrpost] copy adorno, go to jail? textz.com doesn't think so
sebastian at rolux.org
Die Feb 24 20:25:25 CET 2004
Copy Adorno, Go To Jail? Textz.com Doesn't Think So
The Hamburg Foundation for the Advancement of Science and Culture, presided by
Jan Philipp Reemtsma, has just advanced science and culture to a whole new
level: Sebastian Luetgert, the founder of textz.com, is facing a warrant of
arrest and may go to jail if he fails to pay more than 2,300 euros in damages
for the alleged copying of two essays by Theodor W. Adorno that the foundation
claims as their "intellectual property". Reemtsma was kindly asked to settle,
The case dates back to August 2002, when the foundation filed for a preliminary
injunction against Luetgert at the Hamburg State Court, referring to the alleged
distibution of two works by Theodor W. Adorno, "Jargon der Eigentlichkeit" and
"Fascism and Anti-Semitic Propaganda". Since not a single e-mail was sent to
notify textz.com of the matter, and since written notification failed to reach
the defendant, textz.com only learned about the issue after a few days. The
works in question were immediately removed from the site to avoid any further
In December 2003, Luetgert found himself confronted with a warrant of arrest,
obtained against him by the Hamburg Foundation, citing unpaid claims related to
the unauthorized copying of said works. In January 2004, Luetgert addressed the
issue in a letter to Reemtsma and asked for a scholarship so he could pay this
debt and avoid jail time. Reemtsma did not reply, but handed the letter over to
his foundation's lawyers - Senfft, Kersten, Voss-Andreae & Schwenn - who insist
on the payment of 2,331.32 Euros for alleged damages and legal fees.
Textz.com believes that an "intellectual proprietor" of Theodor W. Adorno and
Walter Benjamin who claims to advance science and culture by sending people to
jail for taking Adorno and Benjamin serious is seriously wrong on a whole number
of points. The Hamburg Foundation undererstimates the resistance of their
possessions against their legal protection just as much as their lawyers
underestimate the ability of the Internet to route around damage. In the end,
they may even be wrong in thinking that they will ever get their property back.
Today, in an open letter (http://textz.com/adorno/open_letter.txt), Reemtsma has
been notified that his foundation's "intellectual property" has been returned to
the public domain. This first-of-its-kind protest signals a refusal to let
copyright holders and lawyers censor the very works they pretend to protect and
control what the public can archive or read. There is a universal right to copy
that will never cease to apply, and there is copyright legislation that will.
The spectre haunting the scientific and cultural industries is a new commons
materializing before their very own eyes. We're just at the beginning.
February 24, 2004
mailto:textz at textz.org
How you can support textz.com:
- Spread the word. Tell your friends, tell a journalist, write about it, put it
on a website, post it to a mailing list, etc. Textz.com is also available for
interviews, just mail to press at textz.org.
- Sign our petition at http://textz.com/adorno/petition.html.
- Write a letter to Jan Philipp Reemtsma, Hamburg Foundation for the Advancement
of Science and Culture, Mittelweg 36, 20148 Hamburg, Germany. If you like,
send a copy of your letter to textz at textz.org.
- Donate to textz.com via http://textz.com/adorno/donate.html.
- Buy a copy of Robert Luxemburg's "The Conceptual Crisis of Private Property as
a Crisis in Practice" (http://textz.com/crisis). All proceedings will go to
textz.com's fund for legal expenses.
- Put our "Free Adorno" banner (http://textz.com/adorno/banner.gif) on your
website, and/or link to http://textz.com/adorno.
- Meet textz.com at Neuro Festival, February 26-29, Munich, Germany (check
http://neuro.kein.org for details) and join our discussion about further
strategies in this case.
- Select all, copy, paste, save, upload, share. Reappropriate. (And remember:
there is no need to break what you can circumvent. Don't innovate, imitate.)
Documentation of our correnspondence:
Open Letter to Jan Philipp Reemtsma:
The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction:
Franz Kafka on "intellectual property":
Textz.com mission statement, early 2001:
What others say about textz.com:
The textz that textz.com is all about:
Some state-of-the-art copyright circumvention technologies:
Some more stuff we have not yet been sued for:
Drop us a line, send us a text, or subscribe to our newsletter:
Finally, while freeing Adorno, please free the Grey Album too: