On December 30, 2015, PGLAF received notification that a lawsuit had been filed in Germany against it, and its CEO. The lawsuit was concerned with 18 eBooks, by three authors, which are part of the Project Gutenberg collection.
The lawsuit was filed in the Frankfurt am Main Regional Court, in Germany.
The Plaintiff is S. Fischer Verlag, GmbH. Hedderichstrasse 114, 60956 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. They are represented by the law firm, Waldorf Frommer of Munich.
The essence of the lawsuit is that the Plaintiff demands the 18 eBooks to be removed from Project Gutenberg's servers. The lawsuit also seeks punitive damages and fines.
Based on legal advice from its US attorneys, PGLAF declined to remove the items. The lawsuit proceeded, with a series of document filings by both sides, and hearings before the judges (all of which occurred in German, in the German court). PGLAF hired a German law firm, Wilde Beuger Solmecke, in Köln, to represent it in Germany.
On February 9 2018, the Court issued a judgement granting essentially most of the Plaintiff's demands. The Court did not order that the 18 items no longer be made available by Project Gutenberg, and instead wrote that it is sufficient to instead make them no longer accessible to German Internet (IP) addresses.
Court's original decision (in German).
Decision translated into English.
PGLAF complied with the Court's order on February 28, 2018 by blocking all access to www.gutenberg.org
and sub-pages to all of Germany.