Project Leonardo Limited, the internet service provider operating the petruccilibrary.ca server, deplores the heavy-handed methods employed by German service providers in blocking access to the above mentioned server, where items which are in the public domain in Canada and other 50-pma countries (most of the world) are located. Like most countries, Germany no doubt has ‘fair-use’ exemptions to allow those whose access to libraries and other public institutions is limited or non-existent. As we have stated in the past, there is simply no way Project Leonardo Limited can keep track of such exemptions to copyright statutes in more than 200 jurisdictions.
That said, it must be noted that all items on this server may be under copyright in Germany, and users in that country should not expect that they can simply ignore copyright laws because they don’t want to pay the copyright owner for material still under copyright protection. We note with interest that this situation arose only recently, after the works of Paul Hindemith entered the public domain of Canada and other countries with 50-pma terms. It is also worth noting that if German voters had made their voices heard and stopped the perpetual extension of copyright terms by the German legislature, we would not have to make this sad statement. If Germany’s copyright law had the same 50-pma term it did when Hindemith died in 1963, his works would be freely available there today.
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