Thu, Jul. 27, 2006

Book not to be Published

.   Esra, a book by Maxim Biller, may not be published, the Federal Supreme Court for Civil Matters in Karlsruhe ruled on June 21, 20065 in the matter VI ZR 122/04, as Simon's Blawg notes today. The publication violates the privacy and publication rights of the title character in intimate areas. The court found the publication to impermissibly affect the constitutional rights of Article 2(1) which the court balanced against the freedom of art that is protected by Article 5(3)(1) of the Basic Law. The author recounts an actual personal relationship with the title character in a manner that renders various affected inviduals recognizable, the court observes. It found the book to lack artistic creativity except where it adds untrue defamatory matter that it projects onto the main characters.

Thanks to the update in the comments, we know now that the decison is known as Esra I. A 2006 development is Esra II, involving claims for damages and stimulating renewed debate in Germany about constitutional freedoms for the arts.

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