Pathfinder Press threatens the Marxists' Internet Archive

Les Schaffer godzilla at
Sat Oct 7 08:44:52 MDT 2000

[sent from unsubbed address  ls]

Date: Fri, 06 Oct 2000 20:09:36 +0200
From: Michael Gavin <michaelgavin at>
Newsgroups: alt.politics.socialism.trotsky
To: marxist digest <marxism at>
Subject: Pathfinder Press threatens the Marxists' Internet Archive

I think the following letter which has been sent by lawyers
representing Pathfinder Press, publishing house of the American SWP (a
formerly Trotskyist organisation), may be of general interest to
socialists and Marxists.

I think it's a disgrace that an organisation that claims to be Marxist
should threaten to use bourgeois legislation against another Marxist
organisation. This is particularly so, since they are attempting to
defend so-called "intellectual property", a concept that is wholly
alien to Marxism and the Marxist tradition. Trotsky's writings belong
to the socialist movement as a whole, not the American SWP or
Pathfinder Press.

I urge all of you to send messages of protest to Pathfinder Press
<pathfinder at> with copies to "The Militant", the paper of
the SWP (US) <TheMilitant at>, since as far as I can see
the SWP doesn't have an email address. Also send copies and messages
of solidarity to the Marxists' Internet Archive through David Walters,
a regular contributor to this newsgroup <dwalters at>.

The following is the text of the letter from Pathfinder's lawyers:



NEW YORK, N.Y. 10016

Marxists Internet Archive
643 Parkview Circle
Pacifica, CA 94044

Marxists Internet Archive
P.O. Box 1541
Pacifica, CA 94044

Attention: Mr. Xxxzx Xyyxyz and Mr. David Walters

Re: 408 Printing & Publishing Corp. (Pathfinder Press)

Dear Sirs:

We write on behalf of our client, 408 Printing & Publishing Corp,
which, through its division, Pathfinder Press, is engaged in the
publication and sale of books and other printed matter.

Our client informs us that it has recently learned that the entity
designated "Marxists Internet Archive" ("MIA") has posted on a website
located at and other various mirror sites
(collectively, the "MIA sites") portions of books and other
publications the copyrights of which are owned by our client. It has
learned also that MIA has offered those same infringing materials for
sale to the public in the form of a CD represented as containing the
MIA archives.

Our client advises that it has at no time granted to MIA, or to any
person or entity associated with MIA, any license or authority to
post, sell or distribute any of the books or publications posted on
the MIA sites or any portions thereof; and that the statements on the
MIA sites that these books, publications or some of them are in the
public domain is false.

We annex a list of the works that have been infringed by the postings
on the MIA sites. Our client holds valid subsisting copyrights in each
of these works. (Some of the works listed are based on pre-existing
materials which may be in the public domain, but in these our client
holds copyrights as derivative works (e.g., original
translations)). MIA is not and has at no time been entitled to post or
publish any of the listed works.

Accordingly, on our client's behalf, we demand that MIA, its branches,
divisions and affiliates, and its principals, directors, officers,
employees, agents and representatives (i) immediately cease and desist
from posting any of these works or any portions thereof on the MIA
sites or on any other site (ii) immediately delete and remove any such
materials from the MIA sites and other sites and (iii) immediately
cease and desist from offering for sale or selling or in any manner
distributing any product containing any such materials, through the
referenced CD compilation of the MIA archives.

We further demand, on our client's behalf, that, within ten (10) days
from the date of this letter, MIA (a) furnish to us a full accounting
of all sales by it of such materials through a CD compilation; (b)
destroy, or turn over to our client for immediate destruction, any
remaining inventory of such materials; and (c) acknowledge, by letter
addressed to us, that MIA will not hereafter post, publish, or
advertise any materials in which our client owns copyrights on the MIA
sites or any other site or produce or sell any CD containing any such

We write on the assumption that you prefer, as does our client, to
resolve this matter amicably. This letter is, however, without waiver
of, or prejudice to, any of our client's rights and remedies, all of
which are hereby expressly reserved.

Very truly yours,
Harry I. Rand

cc: 408 Printing & Publishing Corp.

List of Works Infringed By Posting On MIA Sites

1. Founding of the Socialist Workers Party

2. Introduction to the Logic of Marxism

3. Leon Trotsky on China

4. Trotsky, "Why Marxists Oppose Individual Terrorism," taken from
   Marxism v. Terrorism

5. Trotsky, "On the Events in Dublin," taken from New International
   No. 1

6. Trotsky, "Platform of the Opposition," taken from The Cha1lenge of
   Left Opposition 1927-28

7. Trotsky, "How did Stalin Defeat the Opposition," taken from Writings
   of Leon Trotsky 1935-36

8. Trotsky, "Trotsky in Norway," taken from Writings of Leon Trotsky

9. Trotsky, "Before the Decision"; Trotsky, "The German Puzzle";
   Trotsky, "The Turn in Communist International and the Situation in
   Germany," taken from Struggle Against Fascism in Germany

10. Novack, "Empiricism and Pragmatism," taken from Empiricism and Its

11. Reed, "The Challenge of the Matriarchy," taken from Sexism

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