Radical press demands copyright takedown of Marx-Engels Collected Works

I failed to get out before it was too late so I got the virus scan results

Trojan: JS/Loop

Alert Level: Severe

Category: Trojan

Description: This program is dangerous and executes commands from an attacker.

Recommended action: Remove this software immediately.


There is no need to run this, or any other, exe file. Everything else looks safe.

Proudhon was against it, although I can’t find his discussions of it right now.

So does that mean if a group of German speakers were to re-translate then we’d be good?
Any volunteers?


I’m familiar with the assertion that “Property is Theft”. Hadn’t heard of anybody who was against prosperity (though it’s been tempting to start an “Americans Against Prosperity” organization just as a snarky comment on the slimy “Americans For Prosperity” foundation that lobbies for prosperity for members of the Koch family.)

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Say. After we click on the torrent can you send us to another link to remove the trojan?

If you haven’t run any .exe file that came from the torrent (there is no reason to run anything) you should be OK.

I’ve seen the same charges of hypocrisy made every time the Bertold Brecht estate (or any of Brecht’s translators) slaps a cease & desist letter on an unlicensed production of Three Penny Opera.

In the U.K., copyright is extended 70 years after first publication or the death of the author-- which in this case, would be the translators and editors involved in this particular edition of the work. Just because Lawrence & Wisehart are communists, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t assert their rights under the laws of a capitalist society. Should communists refuse to file charges when they have been robbed or assaulted?

Otherwise, it’s just becomes: “Oh, you are (or your grandparents were) socialists? Good, that means we can rip you off!”

the anarchist library has some of his writings here.

Robbery and assault are still severe crimes … regardless of the state economic system, capitalist or communist or dumpsterdivingism.


No no no. He was trying to say “all propriety is theft.”

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Are you under the impression that communists think robbery and assault should be legal? Because this is a complete non sequitur otherwise.

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God, I hate that smug technocrat attitude. When a site like Boingboing gives me a link I expect it to be safe. Thanks for letting me know I was stupid to assume so.

I only needed to restore my system and run two system scans to fix the problem.

Are you under the impression that communists think robbery and assault should be legal?

I am under no such impression. However, Scott McLemee, who is quoted in the article, speaking on behalf of Marxists.org, appears to be under said impression.

I have noticed in the past, that this is a common reaction amongst socialists and communists when they are found to be in violation of the copyrights held by other socialists and communists. I happen to think it a ridiculous argument.

Sorry if that was unclear.

If I sound like I’m a smug technocrat the I’m sorry. I was just hoping that you handn’t run one of the files and you had only got a warning from a virus scan.

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Whilst Lawrence and Wishart have the copyright to the collected works and translations, some original english language parts are well out of copyright. As both marxists.org and L&W are presumably unwilling participants in capitalism and view the message of Marx and Engles more important than profits, one possibility could have been that marxists.org keeps the public domain articles along with a note saying it is from MECW and refers the reader to somewhere where they could buy the volume where it had come from.

No-one wins with the current situation, it is being handled badly by both sides. I don’t know who though it was a good idea to have them taken down on May Day, of all days (I’m not ruling out marxists.org from having decided this).

Yes, and in fact there are free translations (or even just re-typings of older translations) available of many of the volumes on Amazon (Kindle format) for free. Applies to many other classics as well.

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