‘Anne Frank’ Copyright Holders Get Tricky, Claim Her Dad Is A Co-Author

Until this point, The Diary Of Anne Frank has lived three very separate lives. The first, of course, was the living, breathing account of a young woman desperately hiding from persecution in World War II; the second saw its publication serve as a personal touchstone for millions worldwide; and the third found the text firmly embedded in high-school curriculae as one of those ‘books absolutely everyone must read’.

If the book’s copyright holders have their way, its fourth life could make it “The Diary Of Anne Frank… And, Uh, Her Dad Too.”

That’s because the Anne Frank Fonds is attempting to extend its sole ownership over the text by claiming Franks’ father, Otto, had a hand in writing the book. Yes: the very personal, intimate, sole renditions of a young girl, partway-penned by her old man.

Copyright law in Europe dictates copyright expires 70 years after an author’s death. Of course, Anne died in a concentration camp in 1945, meaning the original rights over the text expire this year. Her father died in 1980, which is why they’re claiming he was more than just a character in the book’s creation.
Granted, her dad was a huge factor in the book getting published, but critics say his role in putting pen to paper was insubstantial to claim co-author status.
Of course, copyright expiration can yield some pretty wonderful things. The Diary is not exactly a candidate for zany re-imaginations in the vein of Pride And Prejudice And Zombies or any number of new riffs on Sherlock Holmes, but being in the public domain would be a pretty great start to its fourth life, right?
Story via Jezebel.
Image: Andreas Rentz via Getty.