Swedish Academy Invokes Obscure Law to Prevent Neo-Nazi Group Quoting Classic Literature

Hakka Pettersson, chief of staff of King Karl Gustav of Sweden, delivers a speech during a
OLIVIER MORIN/AFP via Getty Images

The Swedish Academy has taken neo-nazi group Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR) to court, alleging that the group may not quote works of classic Swedish literature on their website.

The Academy, which chooses Nobel Prize winners for literature, has argued that NMR’s website “Nordfront” has violated section 51 of the Swedish Copyright Act by frequently quoting several Swedish Romantic-era poets.

Section 51 of the copyright law states that works whose copyright has expired and fallen into the public domain are protected against reproduction “in a way that violates the interests of spiritual cultivation”, broadcaster SVT reports.

NMR, meanwhile, have argued that they have not distorted the classical works because they have simply reproduced them exactly and stated that the section of the copyright law does not apply.

They went on to say that the law is designed to prevent edited editions of existing works that may be shortened or distorted by publishers looking to make a profit. The Swedish Academy has been given until August 28th to respond to the counter-claim.

The NMR is the largest neo-Nazi group in Scandinavia. It has been involved in many protests over the last several years, some of which have led to arrests after clashes with far-left counter-protesters.

In 2017, around 50 people were arrested following an NMR rally in Gothenburg after far-left activists attempted to confront the NMR and attacked police with fireworks and other projectiles as officers kept the two groups separated. Simon Lindberg, leader of the NMR, was also arrested during the rally.

A month before the rally, Jewish groups in Gothenburg had called on police to ban the event, which was expected to pass a local synagogue and took place on the same day as the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

Censorship in Sweden has also extended beyond far-right groups like the NMR, with the government banning websites that list ethnic origins of criminals, claiming the data was too sensitive for the Swedish public to access.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com


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