“Benjamin Fredrich, publisher of the small “Katapult” magazine in Greifswald, has attacked the renowned Hamburg Hoffmann-und-Campe-Verlag with sharp words. The accusation at its core: Hoffmann and Campe improperly copied a successful book idea, which both publishers had initially realized together, with another team.
The partnership probably crumbled when the catapult publisher wanted a higher share of the proceeds for the continuation of the sale-heavy book “100 Cards That Change Your View of the World”, but was not granted it. Hoffmann and Campe also paid outstanding bills for the published book, which consists of intelligently designed infographics, too late, Fredrich claims.
Hoffmann and Campe deny this on demand. Preliminary end of the story: The Catapult publishing house did not want to make the second book any more.
The real scandal that led to Fredrich’s tirade against the Hamburger Verlag, however, was the book that Hoffmann and Campe then produced with another team of authors. Also a map book, which looks quite similar to the first-time novel and according to Fredrich should initially be called “100 cards that change your view of Germany”.
Katapult had taken legal action against the title, which was then changed to “Good Cards”. According to Fredrich, there are “many clear cases” of infographics in the finished book, which are designed in the style of the “catapult” cards. And not only the style, but also the ideas for the maps were partly adopted, for example a comparison of the economic power of Germany to Africa or an overview of which drugs are taken in which cities.
The author of the new book, Tin Fischer, has denied in a statement that he has taken ideas from the “Catapult” magazine.
“It is not true that Hoffmann and Campe copied the book,” a spokeswoman for the publisher said when asked. They had “developed a special book concept together with Catapult”. But “unfortunately” Katapult had switched to a larger publishing house “after the start of this jointly achieved success”. That’s right with the change, Catapult now works with Suhrkamp. The book “102 Green Cards for the Salvation of the World” has now been published by the publisher.
A few months ago Fredrich had already made a plagiarism accusation against the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” public. The media maker does not seem to fear that his comprehensible, ruthlessly presented criticism could complicate future cooperation. He says: “No matter how powerful these corporations feel, whoever copies us to this extent gets on top of us – always.”
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