From time to time I find myself in uncharted waters. The waters are always German, one finds; and the shouts that drift over the waters tend to things like “Hande hoch!” and “Internet Schwein!” and “Give us your money now, pig-dog”.
These melancholy reflections were brought on by my discovery that the artefacts of the Dieburg Mithraeum, discovered in the 1920’s and published by Behn, are illustrated in Behn’s 1928 book, Das Mithrasheiligtum zu Dieburg. Nothing wrong with that, except … that it isn’t online. It may be nearly 90 years old, but it is still only available if you pay De Gruyters money – and lots of it.
Here’s the page on the De Gruyters site. The item is 47 pages, plus plates. So $126 is a fantastic sum. No-one would ever pay it, of course; but De Gruyters do the dog-in-the-manger thing. “Ja, Ve own zis buch, and nobody gets to read it without our permission. Ha! Ja, if you want to read it, schwein, ve’re going to shaft you gut!” Knowledge is considered merely an opportunity for profit. I’m probably the first person in decades to want to consult it.
It’s contemptible, and it shows how corrupt the copyright situation has become.