Her words

Why is Anne Frank now co-author of her own diary?

A picture of Anne Frank lies in front of the memorial stone for her and her sister Margot, at a memorial at the Bergen-Belsen camp where they died. (NIGEL TREBLIN/AFP/Getty Images)

In Europe, books copyrights usually last about 70 years after the author’s death. So on January 1, 2016, the copyright on The Diary of Anne Frank was set to expire in most of Europe — until this week, when the Swiss foundation responsible for the copyright claimed that the best-selling work had a co-author. In naming Anne Frank’s father, the late Otto Frank, as a co-author, the Anne Frank Fonds has extended the copyright until the end of 2050, but some parties are pushing back. “If you follow their arguments, it means that they have lied for years about the fact that it was only written by Anne Frank,” said Agnès Tricoire, a lawyer in Paris specializing in intellectual property rights, adding that foundation officials “should think very carefully about the consequences.” To extend the copyright would disallow others from being able to publish the book without permission or royalty payments. Mr. Frank, the sole member of the Frank family to survive the Holocaust who died in 1980, has long been acknowledged as a party responsible for compiling and editing his daughter Anne’s red-checkered diary.

Anne Frank died in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp 70 years ago after hiding in the secret annex of a pectin factory in Amsterdam with her family, a space that has since become a museum known as the Anne Frank House. She was 15 years old.

Read the full story at the New York Times.


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