Hereby I present a letter signed by the administrator of Neue Christliche Akademie Endeavor Academy e.V. in Germany, Gerhard Frank, in which he calls for help in the face of a new copyright lawsuit:
"Support Neue Christliche Akademie Endeavor Academy e.V. in the lawsuit by the Foundation for A Course In Miracles over A Course In Miracles copyright in Germany
A call for help...
We, Neue Christliche Akademie Endeavor Academy e.V. (“EA”), Wusterwitz, Germany, are reaching out to the international community of students and teachers of A Course in Miracles to ask for financial support in conducting a defense in a lawsuit initiated by the Foundation for A Course in Miracles (“FACIM”), Temecula, California, USA, before the District Court in Frankfurt, Germany.
FACIM requests the court to order us to refrain from using our brochures in English and German, containing passages from A Course In Miracles.
FACIM bases its claims on the validity of its A Course in Miracles copyright in Germany, notwithstanding the invalidation of its copyright in the United States in 2003.
Another lawsuit concerning the copyright of A Course in Miracles?
Yes, another lawsuit about what we thought was decided in favor of the freedom of A Course in Miracles.
In 2003 New York Judge Robert W. Sweet rendered FACIM’s copyright in the United States invalid on the grounds of pre-publication distribution and A Course in Miracles thus entered the public domain.
In the present lawsuit FACIM takes the position that the invalidity of its copyright in the United States, on the ground of a “formality” as pre-publication distribution, did however not affect the validity of its copyright in Germany, because
i. pursuant to the international copyright treaty of Berne (the Berne Convention) FACIM could yet claim a valid copyright in Germany in accordance with German copyright law and
ii. German copyright law would indeed recognize FACIM as being entitled to the copyright to A Course in Miracles.
EA’s defense against this position is, fundamentally, that the invalidation of FACIM’s United States copyright and the fact that A Course in Miracles consequently entered the public domain, in effect stand in the way of FACIM still claiming a copyright in Germany or any other country which is part of the Berne Convention.
Why is this lawsuit important?
EA represents the purpose of the transformation of mind through A Course In Miracles. That is why we have felt it to be our responsibility to seek legal representation in the lawsuit and aim at a denial of FACIM’s claims, as those claims purport to limit us in using A Course in Miracles online and in printed material such as for invitations to our Advents of A Great Awakening.
But the outcome of this lawsuit goes beyond what might be considered the interests of EA. A judgment in favor of EA is likely to set a precedent for any future A Course in Miracles copyright issues in all of the 166 countries which have subscribed to the Berne Convention. As students and teachers of A Course in Miracles we share our need to teach the Course in order to learn it. And we should be free to use what has been given us to share with anyone who is interested and wants to apply it. ‘Fair use’ provisions in applicable law should be available to us and rights to our own translations to secure more affordable prices of A Course in Miracles in various countries.
Your contributions will be gratefully accepted.
Legal fees in respect of the lawsuit require us to come up with about 15,000 Euro by the end of January 2013. Any contribution you may be able to give will be gratefully accepted.
If you would like to transfer your contribution to our account please use one of the following options:
• For transfers from outside Germany (fee-free within Europe):
IBAN: DE79 1605 0000 1000 9593 99
• Our Paypal account:
• Our bank details for your donations (from within Germany)
Bank: MBS Potsdam; BLZ: 160 500 00; Account #: 1000 959 399
In love and gratitude,
Neue Christliche Akademie Endeavor Academy e.V."
Edit, 12/14/2012: I went back to the original idea to present the letter in the name of Gerhard Frank.