Lawrence & Wishart Issues Takedown Notice to Marxists Internet Archive

British publisher Lawrence & Wishart has issued a takedown notice to the Marxists Internet Archive concerning the availability of the Marx-Engels Collected Works for which L&W holds the copyright. A notice on the MIA site indicates that the material in dispute will be removed on April 30. Unfortunately, although the texts in question were written in the nineteenth century, the translations and editorial material included in the MECW volumes mean that the works are protected by the copyright laws in force today. L&W’s statement on the matter, while overly indignant over the (predictable) backlash generated by their move, does at least remind us that many editions of Marx’s work are unambiguously in the public doman and free from copyright restrictions. The example they give is the Moore and Aveling translation of Capital, available in the Internet Archive and the HathiTrust Digital Library in a number of editions. They could have also pointed the reader to The Poverty of Philosophy, available in the Internet Archive an an edition published by Martin Lawrence Ltd, forerunner of L&W.

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