17.11.2014

The Diaries of Anne Frank to remain copyright protected for many more decades

It is wrong to assume that the copyrights to Anne Frank’s Diaries would be due to expire in the near future, or that anyone would be free to use and publish them without permission from the Anne Frank Fonds. In most countries, the general rule for the period of protection, namely the author’s (i.e. Anne Frank’s) lifetime, plus 50 or 70 years, does not apply. Instead, as a result of the complicated history of the original versions of the diary and its in-print versions, exceptions to the main rule apply. Therefore, Anne Frank’s original texts, as well as the in-print versions of the Diaries, remain protected for many more decades. 

The Anne Frank Fonds (AFF) is a not-for-profit foundation established in Basel, Switzerland. The Fonds is ran by an unpaid board and has an office of three part time employees. The Anne Frank Fonds is the only Anne Frank organisation founded or initiated by Otto Frank. He designated the Fonds as his universal heir. As such, it represents the Frank family, members of which have always been on the board. Currently, it is presided by Buddy Elias, Anne Frank’s cousin. Otto Frank entrusted the Anne Frank Fonds with the task of disseminating the Diaries of his daughter, Anne Frank, taking care of the family's legacy, representing the Frank family, and using the income from licences for charitable and educational purposes. Indeed, all proceeds from the copyrights are used for good causes. AFF supports hundreds of projects worldwide. It has, for instance, a partnership with Unicef to protect children’s rights anywhere in the world. Other international projects are run together with various partners, among them publishers and film, TV, and theatre producers. The Anne Frank Fonds has supported and promoted the publication of the Diary in many languages all over the world. The Fonds has granted rights for the use of Anne Frank’s texts in plays, ballets, textbooks, etc., sometimes free of charge, sometimes for a fee, depending on the type of project. 

More detailed information on the issue of the copyrights can be found here

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