STRAUSS, Richard [1864-1949]: Autograph letter with place, date and signature. Garmisch, 28. 6. [19]34.. 1,5 pages, written on his printed stationery.

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  • Copyright in Nazi Socialism - significant document on ambivalent interpretation. Unprinted letter, as far as we were able to reseach. Adressed to a minister thanking him for the congratulations he had received on his 70th birthday as president of the Reichsmusikkammer. "You will be interested to know that the new German copyright law is now approaching completion. I have succeeded in anchoring in it the protection of classical masterpieces in such a way that, after the expiration of the 50-year protection period, the moral right of the author will pass to the Reichskulturkammer and, in the hands of the professions of the individual arts, the culturally superior works of art will be protected in aeterum against unworthy adaptations and any kind of criminal distribution...". With such a "law, the heirs of the artists would have been expropriated and the Reich Chamber of Culture, of all things, would have been appointed administrator of rights, which would have given legality to the political abuse of rights. In 1935, Strauss resigned as president of the Reich Chamber of Music. The change in the law originally intended by Strauss thus fortunately did not come to a resolution" (J. Voerster. Persönliche Erlebnisse mit Autographen, p. 19). Apart from an interpretation in the National Socialist sense, however, this letter also clearly shows the natural interests of a composer who, on the one hand, is disgusted by "unworthy adaptations" and, on the other hand, wants to avoid the possibilities of illegal printings and performances.
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