IPC and the dangers of writing about Hitler

IPC has sent our press releases pushing the latest issue of NME, with the following at the bottom:

Please note, conditions apply to using the NME covers; the photographer and NME must both be credited, along with the copy ‘NME, on sale now’.

The company is on dodgy ground with such an approach. Who’s going to use the picture with that proviso? What happens next week when the issue’s no longer on sale?

The attitude of IPC was held up to ridicule after it claimed copyright over images of Hitler’s house from Homes and Gardens‘ November 1938 edition that the Guardian’s Simon Waldman had written about. IPC’s claims were exposed as spurious. The 1938 article, ‘Hitler’s mountain home’, by Ignatius Phayre describes the Berghof as ‘quite a handsome Bavarian chalet, 2,000 feet up on Obersalzberg amid pinewoods and cherry orchards’ with the funds coming from Hitler’s ‘famous book’ Mein Kampf, a ‘best-seller of astonishing power.

Ignatius Phayre wrote 5 pieces for the Catholic Herald in 1938-9 and did a profile of Edgar Wallace for Pictorial Weekly (‘Edgar – the amazing! A Henry Ford of fiction’, 16 Feb 1929). Amazon lists 6 books by that author, dating from 1911-33, with one being reprinted this year, America’s Day Studies in Light and Shade. The British Library gives his real name as William George FitzGerald.

Philsp.com has Phayre writing ‘War-Work of the King and Queen of Spain’ in The Girl’s Own Paper and Woman’s Magazine in Oct 1916.

A company like IPC has commerical rights to protect, but its business is built on journalism – and the rights of journalists need protecting too.

IPC profile


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