Archive for: Art. 36 ARNR

Copyright law, case I Ns 700/12

March 27th, 2015, Tomasz Rychlicki

Henryk Goldszmit, better known as Janusz Korczak, has died in the Nazi-Germany maintained concentration camp Treblinka in 1942. The very popular Old doctor was also the author of many children books. The copyrights to his literary legacy are governed by the Polish Book Institute. The exact date of his death is not precisely known, however, it was determined by historians as on 6 August 1942, but for obvious reasons no eyewitness could confirm that during court proceedings that were held after the war. The County Court in Lublin in its order of 30 November 1954 case file Ns 2460/53 considered Korczak’s death on 9 May 1946. Almost 4 years after the date on which it actually happened. Therefore, according to the provisions of the Polish copyright law, Korczak’s works will be available in the public domain as of January 1, 2017.

The Modern Poland Foundation operates the school library project called Wolne Lektury (Free Readings). These e-books are freely available on the Creative Commons licenses. Dissatisfied with the fact that Korczak’s works are not yet available in the public domain, the Foundation decided to submit to the Regional Court Lublin-Zachód the application case file I Ns 700/12 for a declaration of death, seeking to establish a proper date on 6 August 1942. This day is mentioned in a number of publications as the day of deportation of Korczak and his students to the Nazi-German camp in Treblinka.

The Regional Court in Lublin in its judgment of 27 March 2015 case file I Ns 700/12 ruled that Janusz Korczak died in 1942 and not 1946. The Court decided that the most likely date of death was August 7, 1942. The judgment is not final yet.

See also “Polish regulations on copyright” and “Polish case law on copyright“.