Over at Crooked Timber Scott Mclemee is upset that a copyright action is removing Marx from Marxists.org:
The Marxist Internet Archive (marxists.org) is a vast and growing resource, run entirely by donated labor, and as polylingual as circumstances permit. (Do they have Trotsky in Tagalog? Indeed they do.) Yesterday, a notice appeared in the Archive’s Facebook group, and also on its homepage, saying that Lawrence & Wishart’s lawyers demand removal of material from the Marx-Engels Collected Works: “Accordingly, from 30th April 2014, no material from MECW is available from marxists.org. English translations of Marx and Engels from other sources will continue to be available.”
…Chances are the archive volunteers never contacted the press before putting the material up because they assumed, reasonably enough, that an edition prepared largely if not entirely with the support of old-fashioned, Soviet-era Moscow gold was not anybody’s private intellectual property—that the works of Marx and Engels now belong to the commons.
As you know, I have some sympathy with this complaint if not with the motivating example. What really burns Mclemee, however, fills me with glee. At the same time as Marx and Lenin were being pulled from Marxists.org he and Corey Robin received:
…radically under-priced materials from the enemy’s publishing apparatus. He’d received an order containing dirt-cheap copies of Bastiat from the Liberty Fund, while a day earlier I had downloaded free digital editions of the major Austrian School books on theory of value and the socialist-calculation debate from the Mises Institute website. There’s more to neoliberal hegemony than loss-leader pricing, but as ideological combatants those people know what they’re doing.