Extending the copyright of Anne Frank’s diary is wrongheaded and a disservice to humanity

Extending the copyright of Anne Frank’s diary is wrongheaded and a disservice to humanity
Credit: Hide-sp / Wikimedia Commons

Anne Frank’s diary is one of the most powerful historical texts of the 20th Century. It documents the persecution of Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe in a way that is both incredibly detailed and (rare for such pieces) easy for children to relate to.

So, if there’s one text that deserves to be freely available to all of humanity in a world where the shadows of fascism and oppression keep rearing their ugly heads, it’s the Diary of Anne Frank. Sadly, the foundation that controls the diary is adding Anne’s father as co-author in a ‘copyright hack’ to extend its control of the work through to the end of 2050.

While the foundation, called the Anne Frank Fonds, does good work in distributing royalties from the diary to charities, Anne Frank’s words belong to all of us as a warning from history. If the foundation truly believes in the power of the work, it should set it free so it can be read as far and as widely as possible.

Anne Frank’s Diary Gains ‘Co-Author’ in Copyright Move on The New York Times

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