2015 was a year that saw Aussie pirates pack their dacks over legal threats from the makers of Dallas Buyers Club, and worldwide, films like Interstellar and Furious 7 were illegally shared over 40 million times apiece. Still, MMXVI might already have ’15 beat in terms of pirating: A French academic has published the entire text of Anne Frank’s Diary Of A Young Girl online as a protest against the text’s supposed copyright holders.
ICYMI, the Anne Frank Fonds’ exclusive hold on the text’s rights technically ended on January 1st, but the Fonds pulled a fast one last year by saying Anne’s dad, Otto, helped pen the text. If that claim held up, the book wouldn’t enter public domain: the law says copyright holds up for 70 years after the author’s death, so they’d be able to collect royalties on the Diary until 2050.
“Anne, dear Anne, I am writing this letter to you to ask you permission not to wait until 2050. At the end of this message, I will put your journal online.
By doing this, I will perform an illegal act…it is likely that they send me their lawyers, summon me to remove this text, condemn me to pay a fine.
I do not care, Anne.”
Sidenote: Hitler’s Mein Kampf is also technically up for the public domain treatment. How’s that for two vital but completely opposite pieces of mid-century history being doled out to the public for free?
Photo: Andrew Burton / Getty.