New German copyright law and ‘basket case’

IPKAT links to an article in English, in The Register, on the new German copyright law. IPKAT also gives a link to the EU Copyright Directive, which the new German Act implements.
Brigitte Zypries, the German Federal Minister of Justice, spoke of a ‘second basket’ of copyright provisions (‘zweiter Korb’), hence IPKAT’s query as to whether this is a basket case. I knew of the grim history of the term basket case, but I thought it was American. The American Heritage Dictionary says it’s British:

bq. In popular usage basket case refers to someone in a hopeless mental condition, but in origin it had a physical meaning. In the grim slang of the British army during World War I, it referred to a quadruple amputee. This is one of several expressions that first became popular in World War I, or that entered American army slang from British English at that time.

The OED says it’s of U.S. origin, and the first example it gives is U.S., 1919. I thought it came from the Civil War, but I don’t know.

And a year ago, Time asked ‘Is Germany Europe’s Basket Case?‘. Here are some other speculations.

2 thoughts on “New German copyright law and ‘basket case’

  1. Eric Partridge’s Dictionary of Historical Slang doesn’t mention the phrase, but notes that “basket!” was “a cry directed, in cock-pits [we’re not talking aeroplanes here], at persons unable, or unwilling, to pay their debts: C.18. Such persons were suspended in a basket over the cock-pits.”

    Maybe Schroeder should be suspended by his feet from the basket of a hot-air balloon floating over the next Hertha-Bayern match.

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