November 27, 1996 10:45 AM ET
Corel to add warning stickers to German CorelDRAW over Nazi flap
By Margaret Kane

  Corel Corp. will place stickers on boxes of CorelDRAW distributed in Germany, warning users that the software contains clip art prohibited under German law.

The clip art in question is three pictures of Hitler and a swastika. The images, part of the 75,000 clip art files in the Corel library, drew the attention of a district attorney in Munich, who ordered some copies of the software pulled off store shelves in that city last week.

Corel appealed the district attorney's actions to a local German court and won, but the district attorney appealed to a regional court. Corel won there as well.

"We refrain from having anything political, [the clip art] is for historical purposes or religious purposes. A third party misused the art," said Eric LeFebvre, international communications manager at Corel, based in Ottawa.

LeFebvre said the software company agreed to place stickers on existing stock in Germany that warns users that the software may contain these images and that use of the images is prohibited.

"We don't want any problems in any way, shape or form," LeFebvre said.

He said the company is reviewing its stock of clip art with the aid of a researcher from a war museum in Ottawa to determine whether other images could be found offensive to people. If so, those images could be removed in future versions of the product.

"We're looking at a whole host of things. We'll err on the safer side," he said. "We don't want to go into any country without knowing the laws. We'll just remove anything that can be construed in any way. If we can't control [the software's use], the only thing we can do is remove them if we can be found at fault."

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