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New Imperial Officer research tool

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There is available a new research tool for researching and Imperial Germany WWI officer. I will not go into detail here, but check out this link in the sales stand;


You can purchase 8 Imperial German Ranklists.


As a formalty you might want to contact the Bundesarchiv, the Bavarian Military Museum, and related successor agencies of the Imperial and Weimar govenments that printed the documents. It's not likely that copyright laws still pertain to them, although it's worth noting that not long ago the US Congress voted to extent copyright protection from an initial 25 years, with a second renewal for another 25 years (and after that items went into public domain), to a whopping 75 years. Disney was concerned about protecting their rights to various cartoon characters (specifically Mickey Mouse) and extensively lobbied (read paid off) members of Congress to change the law to protect their interests.

I'm not sure what the exact official status of the German publications are, but an enquiriy to the "Germans" might be a wise move before selling the "intelllectual rights" of another nation whose laws and attitudes of scanned documents being sold for what they might consider personal profit might keep you in their good graces if you ever wanted co-operation from their archival staffs.

It would be the polite thing to do, that way if you ever found out they were working on a similar project, no feathers would be ruffled.

Chances are they might say "thank you, good for you" but better safe than treading on toes you might not know are there.


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As a formality it is probably a good idea to enquire about a potential clash with parallel projects.

However, I would be most surprised if the various archives still in existence in Germany had the staff, remit or funding to make this sort of information available beyond holding it in the records they have for public view on application, let alone working on a similar project.

To my knowledge, Deutscher Offiziers-Bund, the original publisher of the Ehrenrangliste, no longer exists. Since Biblio have been selling a reprint of the Ehrenrangliste since 1987 and scans of regimental histories have been openly sold on eBay and elsewhere for a few years, it is extremely unlikely that any legal successors will come forward to raise any objections.

Mittler & Sohn, the original publisher of many of the rank lists, is still in business as Koehler/Mittler and could be approached about the question of rank lists.

In view of the fact that copyright by German law (Gesetz ?ber Urheberrecht und verwandte Schutzrechte (Urheberrechtsgesetz - UrhG)) expires 70 years after the death of the author and 50 years according to European Council Directive 93/98/EEC of 29 October 1993 http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/lex/LexUriSer...93L0098:EN:HTML there is very little to expect in real terms.

The fact that the CD is marked as number 1 of what I assume will be a series begs the question: What will be on CD 2 and when will it be available?


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Yes, There will be a Volume 2. It is in production already. It will contain:

1897, 1898, 1899, 1902 Prussian Army Ranklist

1901 Saxon Army Ranklist

1900 and 1903 Bavaria Army Military Handbook

1903 Navy Ranklist

Are there any other ranklists that I could put on the CD that would make it more attractive. Volume 2 should be available in 30-60 days. I may have it available at the show in Gunzenhausen Germany the second week of October. If you are interest please let me know.

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Prior to starting the project I spoke with several people in Germany in regards to the copyright issue. I was told that I would be wasting my time to contacting any archives or agency in Germany. I was mindfull of the issue.

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Rick, Thanks for the plug. Since I offered the CD for sale on this forum and the other forum I have sold almost 10 CDs. I am surprised have I not sold more in the US. I do not know wheather imperial collectors in the US value the research. Some of the ranklists on the CD are very hard to find. The Navy Honor Ranklist, when it can be found, sells for over $350. I don't think the price of the CD is too high. Maybe when Detlev Niemann has these on his update Friday September 16 it will sell well over in Germany.

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Hi Paul,

It would be interesting to see how quick and how many CD will Detlev sell on his website... Keep us posted! It's intesting to see how many collectors are really concerned with studying History and what it's behind the medals: real people, soldiers...



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Please let me add to the congratulations to Paul for producing this extremely useful and well put together research reference. Having received my copy of volume 1 the other day I am impressed by the ease with which one can navigate through these weighty tomes biggrin.gif

Cheers Paul



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