More on Copyfraud

Beethoven Haus has no right or claim to any sort of copyright in Beethoven’s manuscripts. Such claims are perhaps the most egregious examples of copyfraud around. Beethoven is clearly public domain and the only thing they have a legitimate claim to are the actual manuscripts themselves – as physical property. Moreover, if Beethoven Haus is supported with public funds of any sort, the notion of making a profit for scans or images made of such manuscript material violates the whole purpose of funding such institutions publicly – namely to preserve the manuscripts and make access possible to as wide an audience possible.

While there are certainly legitimate issues regarding preservation and digitization of such treasures, as well as the considerable expense involved in such projects (planetary scanners, etc.), the notion that libraries or archives have copyright interest in works that are clearly public domain is one that must be fought. It’s basically a back-door attempt at asserting intellectual property rights upon the public domain by limiting access to those with deep pockets, or membership in a secret club. Ownership of a physical object in which a work is embodied (like a manuscript) is distinct from copyright ownership. This is a concept found in most copyright laws around the world.

“Carolus” at

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Klaus Graf (2007, 18. November). More on Copyfraud. Archivalia. Abgerufen am 13. April 2024, von

Autor: Klaus Graf

Historiker und Archivar, Blogger

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