The estate of one of Hitler’s most trusted Nazi’s is suing publisher Random House for Royalties.
Random House published a biography of Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s propaganda chief, which included extensive quotes from the Nazi’s diary, the copyright to which doesn’t expire until the end of this year.
Although the publisher initially agreed to pay one per cent of net retail sales for the extracts, it later refused saying it would be wrong to pay the estate of a war criminal. Other publishers have taken a different view and have paid to use excerpts.
The copyright to the diaries are owned by Cordula Schacht, daughter of Hjalmar Schacht, a minister in the Nazi administration. Hjalmar was tried and acquitted at the Nuremberg trials.
The biography, which was initially published in Germany back in 2010, is due to be released in English later this year. The author, Peter Longerich expressed the opinion that people should not be able to have control of important legal documents, although it is unclear if the court will decide copyright can be ignored under such circumstances.