The Diary of Anne Frank – will its copyright expire this year?

Copyrights in Europe generally end 70 years after an author’s death.

Anne Frank.Credit Desk/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Anne Frank.Credit Desk/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
The author of The Diary of Anne Frank 1also known as The Diary of a Young Girl or Het Achterhuis. Dagboekbrieven 14 Juni 1942 – 1 Augustus 1944, Anne Frank, passed away of typhus in the spring of 1945.

Until about a year ago, Anne Frank was listed as the sole author of the diary and her father, Otto Frank, was listed as editor. In 2014, the foundation who owns the copyright to the diary changed this and added Otto Frank as co-author. Because of this little trick they can now argue that not all authors of the work have been dead for 70 years (Otto Frank passed away in 1980).

“The longer they can claim copyright protection, the longer they can ask money for publication of the works,” said Stef van Gompel, a professor at the University of Amsterdam who specializes in copyright law.


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