Originally posted 2015-11-21 12:00:43.
Pretty much everyone who has gone to school in the last 30 years has read or been exposed to the Diaries of Anne Frank. What most don’t know is that there are actually two foundations who claim ownership to different renditions of the diary. One held by The Anne Frank Foundation, a nonprofit organization which supports children’s charities, and provides stipends to family’s who harbored Jews during World War 2. The other is a Dutch organization called The Anne Frank House which cares for the house where Anne Frank hid and wrote her diary.
This means there are two copyrights which are set to expire at different times. The one held by The Anne Frank Foundation was “compiled” by her father Otto Frank. The author of The Anne Frank Foundation edition is credited as Anne Frank herself. The other edition is claimed to have been co-authored and edited by a Ms. Mirjam Pressler, who is still alive today, this means the copyright would expire 70 years after she passes.
The Anne Frank Foundation is trying to change the status of her father from editor to co-author and effectively changing the time when her diary enters public domain from January 1 2016, 70 years after Anne Frank’s passing, to 2065 which is 70 years after the passing of Otto Frank. If I were to keel over in my chair today, the copyright of this article would be held for 70 years. But if the Anne Frank Foundation gets to change an editor to co-author, would that mean if someone edited this article they could be credited as a co-author for my work? Yea that is basically what it means and that would undermine the rights of all authors, this would mean that if you wanted to republish anything after it is out of print, you would have to also get approval from new “co-authors”.
Copyright is intended to be there to protect the author, not to provide a revenue stream for corporations and organizations long after the author has passed. By changing her father from editor to co-author, this says that the diaries are no longer and never were an accurate representation of her thoughts and views but were actually distorted by him to a point where they are no longer a faithful rendition of her diaries