Court of State in Frankfurt
3. Civil Chamber
60256 Frankfurt am Main [Germany]
[located at] BETHMANNSTRASSE 50-54
[in the city of] D-60311 FRANKFURT/M.
phone 069-2 99 08-0
TELEFAX 069-2 99 08-108
Date: January 12th, 1999
brought by the tax-exempt corporation Anonyme Alkoholiker Interessengemeinschaft e.V.,
[anonymous alcoholics (sic) Interest Society, Inc.]
members of the board of trustees [or steering committee]
Bodo Dombrowski, [President]
Joachim Zweiboehmer [Vice-President] and
Hans Prußky, [General Manager]
80939 Munich [Germany]
- plaintiffs -
attorney representing the plaintiffs:
Doeser Amereller Noack (Dr. Werner Mueller, GK 228)
1 . Mr. M. xxxx, xxx Street, xxx town [Germany]
2 . Mr. Juergen Lauer, Weingartenstrasse 47, 35576 Wetzlar [Germany, non-alcoholic, bookshop owner e-mail: BuchVers12@aol.com]
- Defendants -
allegation: Violation of Copyright
considered value in dispute:
500.000,00 DM [$1.00 approximately 1.65 DM, German Marks]
Preliminary we ask to submit the matter to the chief judge immediately in order to obtain a trial date. We personally guarantee payment of the attached check [for court cost].
In this matter we announce that we represent the plaintiffs.
We ask for determination of a date for trial, where we will come up with the following claims:
Defendant 1 [M.] shall --in order to avoid punishment by a fine of 5 DM up to 500,000.00 DM, or in case of inability to pay instead imprisonment for up to six months for every single case of violation according to Section 890 of [German Section 890 ZPO] Court Order Act -- be forbidden:
1. to distribute the printed work with the title "The Little Big Book"
ISBN 0-9663282-1-3, (Attachment K 1 ) and / or to make copies thereof.
2. to distribute the printed work with the title "Alcoholics Anonymous"
ISBN 0-9637666-0-0, (Attachment K 2) as far as it contains the text as printed on pages 1 through 164. [red IWS pocket
3. to distribute the printed work with the title "Alcoholics Anonymous Study Edition", ISBN 0-9637666-1-9, (Attachment K 3), as far as it contains the text as printed on pages 1 through 164. [IWS leather bound Study Edition 1994]
4. to distribute the printed work with the title "Alcoholics Anonymous ",
Reprint of the First Edition of 1939, published by the Big Book Fellowship, Canton Ohio,
(copies of some pages as Attachment K 4), as far as it contains the text as printed on pages 1 through 179. [The 11 chapters]
5. to distribute foreign language editions of the printed work as specified in I 1. ["The Little Big Book " ISBN 0-9663282-1-3], especially Editions in the following
copies of some pages are submitted as Attachments K 5 through K 8,
and / or to make copies thereof.--
Defendant 2 [Mr. Lauer] shall --in order to avoid punishment by a fine of 5 DM up to 500,000.00 DM, or in case of unaffordability of payment instead imprisonment for up to six months for every single case of violation [i.e. for every single book distributed] according to Section 890 of [German Section 890 ZPO] Court Order Act -- be forbidden:
1. to offer* and / or distribute the printed work with the title "Alcoholics Anonymous" ISBN 0-9637666-0-0, (Attachment K 2) as far as it contains the text as printed on pages 1 through 164. [red IWS pocket edition 1994]
[* AA Big Book Study Group in 1998 placed an advertisement on the back cover of Mr. Lauer's book shops catalogue, announcing the free-of-charge availability of said book if one writes to the AA group's P.O. Box]
2. to offer* and / or distribute the printed work with the title "Alcoholics Anonymous Study Edition", ISBN 0-9637666-1-9, (Attachment K 3), as far as it contains the text as printed on pages 1 through 164. [IWS leather bound edition 1994]
[*this book was offered for sale on page 16 of the book shops catalogue, it was sold less than ten times during 1998/1999]
3. to let advertisements be placed the catalogue of his mail order book shop, as far as these ad's advertise the purchase* of the printed work according to Attachment K 1 (The Little Big Book) and of a German Edition of this printed work
with the title "Das Blaue Buch" (Attachment K 9)
[* by intention the plaintiffs use the term "purchasing" here to wake the impression as if the books were sold, which NEVER happened]
The court shall secure [or: declare], that the defendants must reimburse AAWS, Inc., New York, for all damages that AAWS, Inc. suffered or will yet suffer in the future as caused by the actions of the defendants according to Sections I. and II. of this charge.
IV. Defendant 1 [M.] shall be sentenced to reveal information to the plaintiffs about:
1. origin and ways of distribution of the printed works according to Attachments K 1 through K 8 and shall provide full names and addresses of producers, other owners before him as well as quantities how many of each type of these books he received.
2. the the quantity of distribution of said printed works according to
Attachments Kl bis K 8 and a listing by title, amount distributed and earnings on a quarterly basis for every year.
V. Defendant 2 [Mr. Lauer] shall be sentenced to reveal information to the plaintiffs about:
1. origin and ways of distribution of the printed works according to Attachments K 2 through K 3 and shall provide full names and addresses of producers, other owners before him as well as quantities how many of each type of these books he received.
2. the the quantity of distribution of said printed works according to
Attachments K2 bis K 8 and a listing by title, amount distributed and earnings on a quarterly basis for every year.
The defendant shall be sentenced to hand over all and every remaining copy of said printed works according to Attachments K 1 through K 8 to the court bailiff in order to be destroyed by him. [Editor's comment: A cute little book burning took place in Berlin May 10th, 1933. History is probably repeating if AAWS gets away with that.]
VII. The defendants shall pay all cost for the law suit entirely.
VIII. The sentence shall be provisionally executable. [Ed's comment: that means, the books shall be destroyed as quick as possible, regardless of any appeal to the Supreme court.]
IX. In case of confession [or admission] of the crime by the defendants, or in case they fail to defend themselves, they shall be sentenced without regret as claimed in I. through VIII. to the full extend of the law, [i.e. without any reduction of sentence, ] according to German Law sections Section 307 Abs. 2 ZPO, Section 331 Abs. 3 ZPO.
Although the plaintiffs [AAeV, representing AAWS NY] bring this charge in their own names, they also make these charges for, and with, the full knowledge and authorization of, AAWS and as authorized legal representitives of ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS WORLD SERVICES, INC., 475 Riverside Drive, New York, N.Y. 10115, USA, which is a membership corporation under the Law of the State New York.
To simplify the full name, the plaintiffs call this corporation AAWS hereafter, which is their usual abbreviation.
If the above is denied by the defendants we will produce evidence: legal documents offered
AAWS, Inc. has entitled the plaintiffs and assigned full power to them to bring charge and make the above claims, and has appointed [the plaintiffs] to carry out this very law suit.
If the above is denied by the defendants we will produce evidence:
1. submit a certificate of power [that AAeV brings charge in the name of AAWS]
2. personal wittness by George Dorsey, President [sic] of AAWS, Inc., 475 Riverside Drive,
New York, N.Y. 10115 USA
The plaintiffs do bring the charge not solely because they are ordered by AAWS to act in this manner, they also act in their own legal and financial interest as explained by the following facts:
1. Between the plaintiffs and defendant 1 there's already an ongoing law suit pending, it has registration number 2-03 0478/97 and is filed with the copyright chamber od the addressed court. In this law suit the plaintiffses sue defendant 1 because of a German Edition of the Work "Alcoholics Anonymous".
Evidence: files of the court of State in Frankfurt concerning AA e.V. against M.
AZ: 2-03 0 478/97. It is requested to include these files.
The exclusive rights for the German Edition of "Alcoholics Anonymous" were licensed by AAWS, Inc. to the plaintiffs by a license aggreement.
Evidence will be produced in case of denial by presentation of said License agreement. In this charge here the matter is, that the copyrights of AAWS, Inc. concernig the Original English Edition of the same work have been violated by the defendants through their production and distribution of English and other foreign language Editions.
2. The plaintiffs are linked with AAWS, Inc. not only by said Copyright License Agreement.
AAWS, Inc. has several tasks in AA. For example AAWS, Inc. is the national service organization of all AA groups in the US and Canada. Moreover the services of AAWS, Inc. are ready for use by all other national service organizations of AA in the world. Eventually AAWS, Inc. is the owner of copyrights for the majority of -it must be emphasized- for the most important texts in the AA literature. It grants exclusive licenses to the national service organizations.
evidence: Mr. George Dorsey, as witness, already appointed
The plaintiffs personify the service organization of the German groups. In this role the plaintiffs sell -among other [literature]- AA literature where as the revenues from such sales represent an essential source of income for both the national service organizations and
AAWS Inc. as well.
Evidence: Mr. Heinz Peter Ricken, Bockholdstr. 19, 44805 Bochum.
Mr. Ricken is the former Vice.President of the plaintiffs.
Those circumstances show that the plaintiffs have a double interest in the result of the law suit. At first they are interested that the defendants [that means both of them] do not bypass a sentence which will probably be issued in the parallel law suit in favour for the plaintiffs, [for they could bypass it] by distribution of the original English version instead of the most important German edition of the anonymous alcoholics work [sic] "Alcoholics Anonymous".
A uniform action, which includes all Editions of the work which are published and distributed in Germany, secures the legal position of the plaintiffs much better than only winning a law suit, which is limited to the German Edition.
As second purpose the plaintiffs are interested to have the most important book of AA worldwide distributed in the same [uniform] version. As will have to be shown the defendants distribute --at least partially-- Editions that deviate from the text in the Original Edition.
This results in insecurities [doubts] inside the AA groups, but also for individual anonymous alcoholics [sic].
evidence: Heinz Peter Ricken, alredy appointed as wittness
4. That the charge is brought by the plaintiffs [German AAeV] and not directly by AAWS, Inc.
does no damage to the defendant. [editor's note: Of course it does a lot of damage to him. If half a million DM is no consideralbe damage I must have missed something. 1. If AAWS would bring the charge directly, they could not participate as witnesses in the law suit, 2. AAWS, according to the bylaws, has no legitimation to bring charges in countries other than US/Canada] Insofar there is no objection against the right and capacity of the the plaintiffs to sue.
The charge is based on the following facts:
AAWS, Inc. is the owner of exclusive exploitation rights concerning the title in dispute according to attachment K 1 until attachment K 5. [sic; ed. note: This is probably a typo and should say K1 thru K4] The charge is only about the text of the 11 chapters, as reprinted in the booklet "The Little Big Book" (attachment K 1). This text is contained in all eight publications, although the other books contain additional texts which are not objected. To produce evidence the plaintiffs present a copy of the original English edition of the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" as currently sold by AAWS, Inc., i.e. the Third Edition, published in 1976 as attachment K 10. There is one copy for the court only [no copy for the defendant's attorneys]. The text is reprinted on pages 1 thru 164 in this book. The copyright notice in the book reads:
Copyright © 1939, 1955, 1976
by ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS WORLD SERVICES, Inc.
All rights reserved.
"Works Publishing Company", the publisher mentioned in the First Edition of the same work (attachment K 4) is the predecessor of AAWS, Inc.
- 10 -
From the time of first publication in 1939 the copyrights have been continously owned by AAWS, Inc. and its respective predecessors.
Evidence: Mrs. Vincina McCartchy c/o AAWS, Inc., 475 Riverside Drive, New York, N.Y. 10115 USA, as witness
Mrs. McCarthy is employed (as publications director) by AAWS, Inc. to deal with AA-literature .
Evidence: as above
As to be seen in the various editions of the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" in German and English language, Bill Wilson, the author of the text in dispute, is not indicated as author in the usual way in these editions. However, other circumstances testify that he certainly is the author; for example the foreword of the German edition says Bill Wilson was the author. Because of that is must be assumed according to Section 10 entry 2 UrhG [German Copyright Act] and article 15 RBÜ [Revised Berne Convention], that the publisher notified on the work is entitled to exploit all rights. This publisher is AAWS, Inc. according to the copyright notice on the work; attachment K 10.
Insofar it would not be necessary for the conclusiveness of the allegation to present details, who the author of the text in dispute is and how he assigned his rights to AAWS, Inc. In order to limit the amount of material to be considered by the court, the plaintiffs restrict themselves to the following short statements:
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a) Defendant 1 claims to be a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. [This language implies, that the plaintiffs doubt and challenge AA membership and say he is a dubious person somehow.] Neither is he a member of the plaintiffs organization [AAeV] nor a member of AAWS, Inc. Moreover defendant 1 runs a private business under the name "12 & 12" -- a publishing house. [The Little Red Book, Stools&Bottles, Eye Opener, 24 Hours A Day, 90 Meetings - 90 Days etc.]
Defendant 1 pretends to be a member of one of the numerous groups of Alcoholics Anonymous. This group calles itself "BIG BOOK STUDY GROUP" abbreviated "BBSG". It also acts under the name "Studiengruppe Blaues Buch" [ed's note: German translation of "Big Book Study Group"]. Under its English name it is registered in the directory of the English speaking AA-groups in Germany. A copy of the directory page is presented as attachment K 14. [ed's note: Anonymity break in a public controversy! The directory is classified "Confidential"] As usual in Alcoholics Anonymous, only the Christian name of the defendant and his telephone number are noted. The BBSG has no legal existence. However, it has a P.O. Box 1104 in 61218 Bad Homburg. The P.O. Box is emptied by Defendant 1 on a regular basis. [ed's note: Not true] Contrary to other AA-groups [which really exist], BBSG exists on paper only. [ed's note: Duh! What the heck! Do the plaintiffs play "Ghost Busters" with a non-existing group?] While the members of other groups meet regularly - once a week in most cases - to exchange experiences in a meeting, such meetings of the BBSG are not taking place. [ed's note: 1. BBSG meetings take place, but undisturbed by AAeV's undercover agents. 2. It is my understanding according to AA tradition 3 that whenever 2 or more AA's get together to achieve and/or maintain sobriety they can call themselves an AA group. Obviously tradition 3 has been changed by the plaintiffs to "Any 2 or 3 alcoholics who hold meetings in a publicly known place every week may call themselves an AA group"] This "group" rather serves defendant 1 as a fake label for his illegal distribution of copyright protected works. Not only the German market [sic], but the whole world is flooded by him [with AA literature]. The plaintiffs present a letter of defendant 1 [ed's note: in fact an internal newsletter of the AA BBSG group, another anonymity break performed by the plaintiffs] dated Sep9, 1996, which was co-signed by him and others and in which he [editor's note: the letter is in the "we" form.] describes in detail, which activities are developed by the BBSG. Moreover plaintiffs present the copy of another [?] e-mail-writing from the defendant of October 27th, 1997, addressed to the Russian Service organization of Alcoholics Anonymous [GSB]. In this writing defendant 1 offers the production of a Russian edition of the book "ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS" to the Russian AA free of charge. At page 2 of this writing he reports, which editions have already been published by BBSG:
- German edition 27,000 copies
- Hebrew edition 5,000 copies
- Finnish edition 5,000 copies
- Swedish edition 5,000 copies
- Spanish edition (planned) 20,000 copies
- US-edition for prisoners (planned) 75,000 copies
- Russian edition (planned) 50,000 copies
Defendant 1 has also been considered to be the responsible person in charge for the activities of BBSG during another law suit brought against him by the plaintiffs to support their claim for criminal investigation and punishment. The ciminal panel of the Supreme Court of State in Frankfurt stated this in its sentence of March 18, 1998, a copy thereof is submitted as attachment K 17:
"Moreover the accused (i.e. defendant 1 ) is --with sufficient probability-- also one of the responsible persons for BBSG. The group names him as one of its contacts according to the list which was presented by applicant (criminal charge, attachment 1)." [editor's note: another anonymity break, another punitive act in ignorance of warranty 5 in AA's Concept XII]
Other members of Alcoholics Anonymous, who are close to defendant 1 , also look at him as being the relevant person in BBSG. Thus a Mr. Jxxxxxx Sxxxxx )." [editor's note: another anonymity break] from Tübingen has stated that the BBSG is represented by defendant 1 , and he said so at the police station during a hearing because of several criminal charges [editor's note: to reveal the identity and personal secrets of a client is unlawful in Germany] against one director of the plaintiffs and against a Munich attorney, who represents the plaintiffs.
A copy of his report as of December 18th, 1997 is presented as attachment K 18.
A few weeks ago AAWS, Inc. managed to investigate the press, that had been ordered by defendant 1 with the production of the works according to attachment K 1 as well as K 5 bis K 8. It is company "xxxxxxx" in xxxxxxxx city, an xxxxxxx-enterprise. As their officer said, defendant 1 places purchase orders as owner of the publishing house 12 & 12 and the invoices show defendant 1 as being the receiver. In this manner and during the last three years defendant 1 had company xxxxxx print the work "Alcoholics Anonymous" in English language as well as in Finnish, Swedish, Hebrew and Russian.
Evidence: Mr. Sxxx Wxxxxx c/o xxxxxxx company, xxxx Street, xxxxx city, as witness
The plaintiffs and AAWS, Inc. issued written legal warning to "xxxx" company combined letter of December 22, 1998 and urged them, among other things, to commit themselves to refrain from further printings and pay a fine in case of violation. A copy of the written warning is presented as attachment K 19. [editor's note: "AA has no opinion on outside issues" as practiced by AAWS and AAeV]
In their answer, dated January 4th, 1999 (attachment K 19 a) the xxxx company does not deny purchase orders by defendant 1 , but refuses to sign any committment or to pay any fine.
If and how the plaintiffs and AAWS, Inc. will
follow up their claims against xxxxx, shall be decided in near future.
b) Defendant 2 is not a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, as far as the plaintiffs knows. He cooperated with defendant 1 in business matters for many years. On February 1st, 1998 he bought the mail order book shop (not the publishing house) from defendant 1 and runs his business officially under his address in Wetzlar. But defendant 2 can rarely be contacted in Wetzlar, for he stays most of the time in the office of the publishing house of defendant 1 at Oberursel. At least he answers the phone there often.
Evidence: N.N. as witness, whose name and proper address will be presented later.
The books in dispute are offered by [both of] the defendants in their catalogues. The catalogue of defendant, effective May 1st, 1997 is presented as attachment K 20, the catalogue of defendant 2, which he uses since middle of 1998, is submitted as attachment K 21.
In the catalogue of defendant 1 the related offer is to be found on page 16. The book covers of the items according to attachments K 2 [red IWS pocket edition 1994], K 3 [IWS leather bound Study Edition 1994] and K 4 [Reprint of the First Edition of 1939, published by the Big Book Fellowship, Canton Ohio] are depicted and retail prices are attached as well. Defendant 1 has [not only offered but also] sold these books. His invoice of January 20, 1998 (at that time he was still in the mail order business) to a customer is presented as attachment K 22. Items number
- 20 -
1. and 2. represent the works which are in dispute here.
Defendant 2 offers the books in dispute according to attachments K 2 [red IWS pocket edition 1994] and K 3 [IWS leather bound Study Edition 1994] in the catalogue of his publishing house [editor's note: Mr. Lauer has a mail order business, not a publishing house] on page 16 as well. Defendant 2 also sells the books. A copy of an invoice issued by defendant 2 as of June 15, 1998 is presented as attachment K 23, where items 3 and 5 reperesent the works as specified in attachments K 2 [red IWS pocket edition 1994] and K 3 [IWS leather bound Study Edition 1994]. Moreover on the back cover of his catalogue (U 4) you find an advertisement. The book according to attachment K 1 [The Little Big Book] as well as the German version of this volume (which is in dispute in our parallel law suit) are offered [editor's note: by and under the address of AA BBSG, books including shipment free of charge]. As already in the catalogue of the publishing house of defendant 1 , these books cannot be purchased from the publishing house [editor's note: nor from Mr. Lauer's mail order business], but through BBSG (which acts at the same location) of defendant 1. How this works is evident from an invoice issued by the publishing house of defendant 1 as of January 22nd, 1998. It plainly states: "We have forwarded your order of 'The Blue Book' [the German little big book] to BBSG in Bad Homburg" (attachment K 23 a).
Defendant 1 distributes the book according to attachment K 1 ["The Little Big Book" ISBN 0-9663282-1-3] also personally. The copy of an envelope is presented as attachment K 24, which was personally labeled with the recipients addres by defendant 1 in his handwriting. [editor's note: false accusation]
Evidence: expert wittness on analysis of handwritings
The sender address printed on the envelope is "BBSG". Among other things the envelope contained a book according to attachment K 1. ["The Little Big Book" ISBN 0-9663282-1-3]
Evidence: Mr Hans Joachim Kuhn, Steinweg 10, 36287 Breitenbach-Hatterode as witness.
Mr. Kuhn is the recipient of the envelope.
4. The parties of the parallel law suit have tried to settle the dispute at the beginning of this year . This is known to the court. Shortly before signing the settlement the plaintiffs found out, that defendant 1 had transferred his mail order business to defendant 2. The plaintiffs therefore insisted that also the latter [Mr. Lauer] signs a committment to refrain from illegal distribution of copyright protected [AA] literature. When defendant 1 got knowledge of this request he refused any further discussion. Thus the plaintiffs and AAWS, Inc. think that defendant 1 tried a tricky arrangement to bypass his committment to refrain [from any AA literature distribution entirely]. In case of further distribution he himself would not be the violater, because it was then done by defendant 2, who was not blocked by threatening with a penalty according to the proposed committment. [editor's note: In fact it was otherwise. The mediator, a Munich AA oldtimer, said AAeV and AAWS had no intention to block distribution of AA literature whatever. But, as he pointed out, some of the "trusted servants" held a personal resentment against M. In his opinion the real conflict was not about copyrights, but obviously literature items served as a battle field for character defects only. So the solution, which was found and agreed on was that M. withdraws his personality from any AA literature distribution including but not limited to AAWS, AAeV, IWS and BBSG books. AAeV/AAWS stop any hostile action from their side and drop all law suits and criminal charges. M. said he had no problem with that, because he was not so important. And if it was in line with "God's will for us" others would be out there to do what he himself could not do. So he materialized his promise and the book shop was interrupted and by means of substancial discounts on stocked items Mr. Lauer bought the stock, the vast majority of it being non AA literature. To be clear: BBSG books had nothing to do with this deal. Those books were taken care of by AA members -- always in a strictly non-commercial manner.]
In a legal letter as of June 23rd, 1998 AAWS, Inc. issued a warning to defendant 2 and asked that he discontinues distribution of books according to attachment K 2 bis K 4 [IWS and BB Fellowship]. A copy of the letter is presented as attachment K 25. Defendant 2 has answered on June 30th, 1998 and refused any committment. On the request of AAWS, Inc., their attorneys [Mr. Roth] have sent another letter to defendant 2 dated July 30th, 1998, who again refused to comply with any claims. The respective correspondence is presented as attachments K 26 and K 27. [editor's note: Mr. Lauers second answer was ommitted by the plaintiffs]
AAWS, Inc. did not threaten defendant 1 with any written warning, because all such measures taken by the [two] AA-Organizations in their attempt to enforce extrajudical unification [sic] remained fruitless. However, should defendant 1 admit the righteousness of the claims as presented with this charge -fully or in part- AAWS, Inc. would explicitly welcome that. [editor's note: To avoid any misunderstanding: AAWS would welcome that the defendant "shall be sentenced without regret as claimed in I. through VIII. to the full extend of the law..."]
The plaintiffs' analysis on the legal position is as follows:
1. About representation of AAWS by the plaintiffs in this lawsuit word is already given on pages 5 thru 8 of this charge
2. The court of appeal is the appropriately choosen, because it is apt to deal with the matter and it is the right district. That the copyright panel of the court has to deal with the charge is obvious from Section 105 UrhG [German copyright law] in connection with due enactments of Hessen County dated August 29th and 30th, 1974.
3. The defendants can be charged because they violated the rights in the work "Alcoholics Anonymous" owned by AAWS, Inc. New York according to the terms of Sections 97 ff. UrhG [German copyright law].
a) As already mentioned above, that the book in dispute is a written artificial work according to Section 2 number 1 UrhG [German copyright law], for which the AAWS, Inc. enjoys copyright protection in Germany. This
protection ends - notwithstanding the possibly of an even longer duration of copyright due legal re-arrangement within the European Union - not before the year 2021.
There is no dispute about the fact, that the work "Alcoholics Anonymous" is no longer protected in the US. Therefore AAWS, Inc. cannot take action against third parties [editor's note: sounds much like "Unfortunately AAWS, Inc. cannot take action against third parties"], who reprint and distribute the book in the US. But the copyright protection is still good in Germany, and therefore third parties are not allowed to print or distribute neither the original English edition nor any translations in Germany. Insofar the right of control over distribution owned by AAWS, Inc. according to Section 17 UrhG [German copyright law] is not yet exhausted, because the editions, which are published in the USA by third parties are not distributed in Germany with the consent of AAWS, Inc. [editor's note: That's wrong. 1. AAWS does not have rights for distribution of the IWS big book in Germany. 2. Given AAWS were the sole copyright owner of the big book in Germany (AAWS is not, but just imagine it were) then the aggreement between AAWS and IWS (now Anonymous Press) as of January 11 and February 17, 1995 and signed by George Dorsey, General Manager of AAWS, constitutes permission for production and sales, except in Canada. Entry 2 of the same Section 17 of this law reads: "Further distribution of the original or of copies of the work are permitted as soon as they have been sold with permission by those who are entitled to distribute the work in the area where this law applies."]
On the contrary the [AAWS] incorporation has sued every single violation of its rights in the work "Alcoholics Anonymous" which took place until today, no matter where it happened. So recently there were for example lengthy legal confrontations in Mexico and in Canada; in both countries the work is still copyright protected. [editor's note: In Mexico, one trusted servant and long time AA member, who served more than 2000 AA groups was sentenced for one year of prison, because of alleged copyright violation on August 4th 1995. This was possible because in 1992 AAWS had registered the book in Mexico as sole copyright owner. The registration states, that Wgne Parks is the author of the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" and the English-Spanish translator is Jose A. L. Gracia. It seems to be a common pattern, that AAWS employs lies, falsified evidence and wrong allegations to stop the AA message from being carried and maintain a monopoly.]
b) This charge here is about different editions of the book in dispute. In first place the parties disagree on the ownership of rights on the English editions which were published in the US. This appies to attachments K 2, K 3 and K 4 [editor's note: IWS and Canton, Ohio]. These editions are identical with the original edition of the AAWS, Inc. according to attachment K 10 [Third Edition of 1976, hardcover] In second place, defendant 1 has published an own edition based on the first manuscript version of Bill Wilson, which was never published in book form (see attachment K 11), whereof he produces copies in English as well as in other languages (German, Swedish, Finnish, Hebrew and Russian) and distributes them in Germany.
[editor's note: Duh! This is an astonishing bunch of lies and misinformation.
1. defendant 1 has published The editions in question here were published and distributed by group members of the respective countries, not by an individual like defendant 1.
2. an own edition He certainly does not own this edition or these editions.
3. edition based on the first manuscript version of Bill Wilson The edition or editions are not based on Bill's first manuscript, because Bill's first manuscript has some more than 1100 numbered lines only and was typewritten by Ruth Hock double spaced on legal 8 ½ by 14" paper and now stored in Stepping Stones archives. It is very much different than the so-called multilith manuscript of attachement K11 which is on 1 ½ by 11" and not double spaced.
4. which was never published in book form K11 was published before the 1st Edition of 1939 and sold for $3.50. It is not true that K11 was never published in book form. Copies in book form are still in existence.
5. see attachment K 11 The multilith manuscript K11 was not written by Bill but by a group of about 40 people
whereof he produces copies in English The attorneys of AAWS produced incomplete "evidence" to the court. When they made their photocopy of item K 1 "The Little Big Book" they covered the inside of the back flip with a white envelope. Obiously they did so to hide information from the court. On the whitened page it states that the book is available from AA BBSG in New York, Zip code 10992-0031, USA. This page also bears an US code for publishers identification: International Standard Book Number "ISBN 0-9663282-1-3" a price information "$0.00" and a copyright notice "No copyright secured!" Defendant 1 earns his money to live on as engineer for quality control and has no press. Thus he could --technically, for he lacks machinery-- not produce such copies, even if he wanted to.
6. as well as in other languages (German, Swedish, Finnish, Hebrew and Russian) and distributes them in Germany. Many Germans understand English, but I wonder how defendant 1 managed to aquire huge address files for tens of thousands of Hebrew, Russian, Swedish and Finnish speaking alcoholics in Germany in order to distribute those books there. -- The plaintiffs report on page 18 of this charge that they investigated a press company which allegedly issued invoices to defendant 1. Why did the plaintiffs not produce evidence and present those invoices from the press company to defendant 1? Seemingly because such invoice would evidently reveal the fact to the court, that books were ordered and paid by a church in one country and received and distributed free of charge to alcoholics by a church in another country.]
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As the court panel already knows from our parallel lawsuit suit [concerning the German edition], these editions are largely identical with the original edition -- defendant 1 did not deny this. Therefore these editions likewise violate the copyrights of the AAWS, Inc. This corporation and the plaintiffs were were only hindered to persecute their claims concerning these editions in foreign languages, because they had no evidence for a violations of their rights in Germany. [emphasis in original]
c) Defendant 2 distributes the editions according to attachments K 2 and K 3 [IWS] by means of his mail order business and offers them for sale in his book shop's catalogue.
Moreover defendant 2 offers the German edition "Das Blaue Buch" according to attachment K 9 in his catalogue. Thus he commits the crime of unlawful distribution according to Section 17 entry 1 UrhG [editor's note: In fact he allowed for advertisement of three different entities or organizations on the back cover of his cataolue. One of them is AA BBSG. Not defendant 2 but this AA group announces the availability of free books and gives the P.O.Box address]. That defendant 2 does not ship the books himself does not make any difference. [editor's note: Of course. That the servant was sitting behind the taxi driver in the same car is enough evidence. That he was perfectly sober while the driver crashed the cab does not make any difference. The servant get's the DWI. Period!]
d) As already outlined above applicable law according to Section 10 entry 2 UrhG [German copyright law] respectively article 15 RBÜ, assumes that AAWS, Inc. is entitled to protect its rights in the work and to persecute violations thereof. This presumption is based on the copyright notice in the original edition according to attachment K 10 [AAWS, Third Edition 1976]. The claims in this charge are based on this presumption. [Section 10 reads: 1. Presumption of authorship: Whoever, on the copies of a published work or on an original artificial work, is identified in the usual manner as being the author/creator, shall be considered the real author/creator of the work until evidence is produced, that someone else is the author/creator; this rule also applies to any identification which is known to be an alias or logo of the author/creator.
2. If the author/creator is not named according to entry (1), it is assumed that the person, who is identified on the copies of the work as being the editor, is entiteled to exercise the rights of the author. If no editor is identified, it is assumed that the publisher is entiteled.]
However, the plaintiffs would be able to produce evidence, that all rights of the author of the works, Bill Wilson, were assigned to AAWS, Inc. and remained there ever since.
[editor's note: To bad that the plaintiffs produced too much evidence A) one entire assignement from Bill Willson to Works Publishing Inc. effective June 20th, 1940 and another one effective April 19th, 1963. If I was sick as a child and my brother granted me his left kidney as a replacement for my insufficient one - how could he give me that same kidney again 23 years later for another transplantation if his kidney remained with me ever since? This story stinks.]
Attachment K 8 (compare page 3, at the top) is still missing in the mentioned attachments to this complaint. This will be handed in later. It concerns the Finnish edition of the printing of attachment K 1.
The claims at the beginning of this charge refer to the books as specified in attachments K 1 until K 9 which constitute a copyright violation. This reference serves for a better understanding of the stated claims only. The sentence to be pronounced by the court might skip such references to explicit books or editions and might use a more general language of course.
In this law suit the permanent legal consultants of the plaintiffs and of AAWS, Inc. are employed along with the office of Dr. Roth and colleagues from Munich, who are participating as correspondent attorneys.
Based on a value in dispute of DM 500.000,-- we enclose a check good for DM 10.635,-- issued by the correspondent attorneys and guaranteed by us. We accept personal liability for the cashing of this check and request to appoint a date for a trial/hearing immediately and ask not to wait until the check is chashed.
Dr. Werner Mueller - authorized attorney