Biblical Archaeology Review 19:6, November/December 1993
Dead Sea Scrolls Research Council: Fragments

Dorner’s Decision Criticized

An editorial entitled “A Miscarriage of Justice in Jerusalem,” appearing in the June 1993 issue of The Qumran Chronicle, a scholarly journal published in Poland and devoted to research on the Dead Sea Scrolls, states that “scholars all over the world should be alarmed by the decision” of Jerusalem Judge Dalia Dorner in the case Professor Elisha Qimron brought against BAR.

Judge Dorner ruled that Professor Qimron owns the copyright on his reconstruction of the Dead Sea Scroll known as MMT and that BAR violated his copyright by publishing it. She awarded Qimron approximately $50,000 in damages and $25,000 in lawyers’ fees.

Written by Professor Bruno W. W. Dombrowski of Weenzen, Germany, the editorial charges that “Judge Dorner obviously has rewarded this violation of academic behaviour [on the part of Qimron in bringing the suit] … No scholar is entitled to withhold old texts or other archaeological artifacts from others.” According to the editorial, Qimron violated a “tacit agreement in the world of learning” that such materials should be available.

“It can only be hoped that this deplorably wrong judgment will be appealed and rescinded by the higher court,” the editorial concluded.

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