On "At Home With Hitler"…

So Simon Waldman has been asked to take down the At Home With Hitler spread by Homes and Gardens. The full story is here. Someone’s already put up a mirror, which I can’t help thinking is a good thing. The most irritating thing about the whole debacle is that I don’t think they have an obligation to make him take it down – instead I think they’ve just decided that they don’t want to publically have their magazine linked with Hitler. I suppose I can understand the anxiety, but it is unfortunate. The article is a fascinating piece of history that we will shortly no longer have access to. I don’t know that we ever really think about that aspect of copyright – that it stops us having unmediated access to recent history…

12 replies on “On "At Home With Hitler"…”

Trying to obscure the fact that Hitler was once a bona fide member of high society can only have the effect of making him seem more and more like a monster who appeared as if from nowhere. It is important that mankind remembers that Hitler was once considered a great man of the people because the monstrosity of the Holocaust was the result of a collective psycopathy. To remove this evidence of Hitler’s once-upon-a-time respectability is to rewrite one of history’s great lessons: there is great capacity for evil in mankind’s nature and we all have a responsibility to ensure that it does not take root.

Oh come on, how naive is this guy?
“Dear large magazine that’s owned by a soulless multinational corporation with too many lawyers: I’ve reproduced your copyrighted work. And what’s more, it’s a hot button item about Hitler! Surely you’ll be so pleased.”
Really. What was he expecting? I’m amazed they were so nice about it.

Tell you what – I have to confess that I would agree with you on that one, except that Simon Waldman is pretty clued up on media stuff so I can’t imagine that he doesn’t know why they’d have an issue with it. Still – it’s a little disingenuous of them to use copyright as the basis for their complaint…

Tell you what, how about some kind of compromise where the copy can stay up so long as there’s some kind of criticism (in the proper sense of the word) of the events surrounding it?
Sure, the magazine probably doesn’t want to look like they support Hitler now, but it’s fair use to put up scans of the images and say something like “My, look how times change!”
Giving the magazine the opportunity to put up a statement on the site wouldn’t hurt either…

Ironic Mr Waldman blatently breached copyright on Isobel McKenzie-Price’s email to him.
I agree with Derek Powerzak.
The web thrives on breach of copyright, but if you go to the trouble of alerting the copyright holder what can you expect? Still, in 2008 it’ll go out of copyright anyway. Besides, have you considered that they may wish to publish a book of previous interesting articles, little point if people can get away with putting stuff up on websites anyway, the editor is merely following form on behalf of IPC. What else can she do, if she doesn’t and there is a rash of copyright-infringement from Homes and Gardens then she will be answerable to others who will ask her why she didn’t stem the tide, why she gave tacit permission. She probably found the piece interesting herself, but it was impolite to publish her email. Simon has just behaved a little boyishly and is let down not to get an enthusiastic response from the magazine. That’s all. There is no issue about IPC and distancing from Fascism here, it’s just policy.

Jacob – Good idea. It would be totally legal to put up a portion of the scans (not all of them) to go with an essay about fascism, media, and nostalgia that used the article as an example. That’s Fair Use, and if that’s what Simon had done, I’d be behind him 100%.

There is a very amusing aspect to all of this. The Hitler article is getting a lot more publicity than it would have if the Homes & Gardens people hadn’t been such twits about it. This is not what copyright laws were intended for. They also were never intended to last forever but corporations are lobbying to insure that they do.

Another blogger censored by copyright laws!
This story is a real outrage:Homes & Gardens of November 1938 showed off Hitler’s fashionable home. Homes & Gardens of 2003 would rather kill the story than apologize…. It is frankly sickening that Homes & Gardens should display concern for…

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