University of Western Australia Law Review [Vol 51(2):46] has recently published a paper on Copyright Nazi Plunder: How the Nazis Aryanized Jewish Works. (backup copy). It is written by Lior Zemer and Anat Lior.

The paper begins by considering the concept of Aryanization. This term is most widely associated with the looting of physical goods such as paintings and gold bars from the homes of wealthy Jews. The paper contends that the misappropriation of Jewish intellectual property rights was on par with the looting of physical goods:

The narrative of the ‘Aryanization’ process focuses entirely on physical property and its economic effects in the interwar period. However, this process also took place with regards to intellectual property which was forcefully transferred from Jewish authors to non-Jews individuals in Nazi Germany.

The paper considers various types of intellectual property, including sheet music, fiction novels and non-fiction novels. On the topic of non-fiction, Zemer and Lior note:

As mentioned, when the Nazis rose to power, books that were considered “un-German” were burnt. However, another category of non-fiction books presented a different type of challenge. Those books’ content was apolitical, they were extremely popular, loved, and useful. The only problem was that they were authored by Jews. This led their publishers, who were usually implicated with the Nazi regime, to Aryanize them maintaining the vast majority of the content, but republishing under a non-Jew name.

We can see the same phenomena emerging in Debian today. The victims are not necessarily Jewish but the tactics are the same.

We can see the Debian trademark is used this way: the name Debian is given more prominent exposure than the names of the individual authors. If some of the authors (Debian Developers) are snuffed out altogether, the only thing left to see is the trademark.

In 2016, rogue developers used the Debian Project to disseminate falsified harassment stories about Dr Jacob Appelbaum.

Appelbaum is an obviously Jewish name. Dr Appelbaum's Wikipedia profile tells us he is of Jewish ancestry but identifies as an atheist. In an earlier blog, we examined the fact that people of Jewish ancestry would still be treated like Jews even if they renounced their religion.

During the Debian-private lynching of Dr Appelbaum, the following comment appeared trivializing Dr Appelbaum's contributions as a co-author of Debian:

Subject: Re: What is true and what is false in accusations against Jacob Appelbaum
Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2016 23:22:13 +0200
From: Nicolas Dandrimont <>
To: Debian Private List <>

* Andreas Tille <> [2016-08-13 23:07:52 +0200]:

> Hi folks,
> <snip>
> What do we in Debian really know about all this for sure?  Its not that
> I trust an article since its just in the news, but I never read any
> detailed information that has backed up our decision.

We know for sure that Members of the Debian Project have come forward with
their testimonies of misconduct by Jacob Appelbaum.

We know for sure that some Debian Contributors, as well as some prospective
contributors, would feel threatened by his continued presence in the project.

We know for sure that his contributions to Debian are non-existent.

Do we really need to rehash this over and over again?
Nicolas Dandrimont

BOFH excuse #311:
transient bus protocol violation

Nicolas Dandrimont is a member of the Debian Account Managers team. He works for the Software Heritage Foundation, a non-profit affiliated with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). What we see in Dandrimont's email from 2016 is that he was exhibiting the same pattern of behavior that Zemer and Lior called "Copyright Nazi Plunder". He claims that Dr Appelbaum's contributions to Debian are non-existent and therefore Dr Appelbaum can be rubbed out.

In fact, the very first time the name of a Debian Developer was obfuscated in this way was the case of Shaya Potter. Shaya, like Appelbaum, an obviously Jewish name. Potter maintained the hebcal package, the Perpetual Jewish Calendar in Debian.

We have seen the same line of attack used against another Debian Developer, Daniel Pocock. Pocock explains how two Italians, Enrico Zini and Mattia Rizzolo have removed his name from the list of authors (Debian Developers). He published this screenshot of the plagiarism:

Enrico Zini, Mattia Rizzolo, plagiarism, Debian

Now we have more evidence of a deliberate plagiarism from Axel Beckert at the ETH Zurich. Beckert has already been exposed engaging in perjury. Here is where Beckert tries to trivialize Mr Pocock's right to recognition for his co-authorship of Debian:

Axel Beckert, ETH Zurich, plagiarism, Debian

Translated to English and paraphrased to help us see through the use of jargon, the statement says:

Mr Pocock continues to present himself as a co-author (Debian Developer) even though Debian cabal members prohibited him from taking credit for his work.

The legal document is signed by Beckert:

Axel Beckert, ETH Zurich, Debian, perjury

Beckert's employer, ETH Zurich, is one of Europe's leading research institutions. One would expect their employees to set an example of giving each and every author proper credit for their work. Beckert's rogue behavior is the polar opposite of what we would expect.

Swiss law on copyright states (Copyright Act / Droit d'auters):

Protection expires: ... in the case of computer programs, 50 years after the death of the author

There is nothing the Copyright Act giving co-authors the power to extinguish the rights of their peers.

The association does not pay the authors (Debian Developers) for their work. The only consideration they have promised is the public recognition for their work. Removing the name from the list denies co-authors their proper recognition. It is not only plagiarism, it is also a lot like bouncing a cheque.

Other victims of Debian plagiarism

The names of these people were involuntarily removed from the list of Debian Developers, denying them proper recognition for their works of authorship.