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20.11.2011 - Copyrights of the late Loriot violated?
A number of news services – e.g. Spiegel Online and Heise-online – have been reporting about a curious decision of the Regional Court of Berlin (Germany). The decision was triggered by the daughter

A number of news services – e.g. Spiegel Online and Heise-online – have been reporting about a curious decision of the Regional Court of Berlin (Germany). The decision was triggered by the daughter of the famous German caricaturist Loriot, who brought in a complaint against Wikipedia. The well-known Internet encyclopaedia has a separate lemma that describes the life and works of the cartoonist Loriot. To illustrate the lemma, Wikipedia depicted the four German surcharge stamps that were dedicated to the work of Loriot.

Earlier, the daughter had forewarned the American mother company of Wikipedia that she considered the publication of the stamps as an infringement of the copyrights of her father. In a preliminary injuction the Regional Court has confirmed that Loriot’s copyright has been violated, since stamps can not be considered as works that reside in the public domain.

Wikipedia’s Jan Engelmann has stated that he is "generally interested in a clarification of the copyrights of stamps". The attorney of Loriot’s daughter, Benedict Bräutigam declared that not everyone who depicts the same stamps will be sued: "We are not after the small stamp dealers who have to show what they want to sell".

The German Ministry of Finance, which acts as the official publisher of all German commemorative stamps, has updated its website; there now is a reference to the fact that anyone who wishes to reproduce the Loriot stamps will have to seek prior permission to do so.