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Hitler’s Mein Kampf copyright expires

December 31, 2015 - GERMANY

At midnight the copyright to Hitler's Mein Kampf expires and the book enters the public domain, allowing anyone to publish and distribute it.

Bavaria, which has allowed no legal versions of the 700-page manifesto to be produced in Germany since the end of World War II, holds the copyright. With the approach of the date, a controversy is growing over whether the book should be published for study or buried for all time.

When the copyright expires, according to the BBC, the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich plans to bring out a new edition of Mein Kampf that combines the original text with a running commentary pointing out omissions and distortions of the truth. Some Nazi victims oppose this approach.

The present ban is largely symbolic because original copies can be found and purchased, and large tracts of it are freely available on the Internet for anyone willing to wade through what is often described as turgid prose. It is also often described as one of the most dangerous books in history.

One of the biggest bestsellers of all time, it sold some 12 million copies between its original publication in 1924 and 1945, and the controversy is spiking a new wave of interest that will probably translate into big sales.

Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf at centre of fresh controversy (CBC 6 Jun 2014)

Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf at centre of fresh controversy (CBC 6 Jun 2014)

Mein Kampf: The world's most dangerous book? (BBC 13 Jan 2015)

Date written/update: 2015-03-08