A Fight Is Brewing Over Anne Frank's Diary

Miquel Benitez/REX Shutterstock
Anne Frank's iconic diary, written while she and her family were in hiding from the Nazis, is now available online, free of charge. Usually, releasing a copyrighted book is illegal, but a legal loophole has the Anne Frank Fund up in arms.

In 1993, Europe passed a law that effectively removes a book's copyright 70 years after the author dies. Frank died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945, so The Diary of a Young Girl is now considered public domain.
University of Nantes lecturer Olivier Ertzscheid and French parliament member Isabelle Attard both posted Frank's diary online.

Ertzscheid said he uploaded the diary because of what it represents. "I bear the conviction that there is no greater combat than to fight for its freedom, no greater tribute than share it without restriction," he wrote, according to ABC.
However, the Anne Frank Fund contends that it still holds exclusive copyright for The Diary of a Young Girl. Anne Frank's father, Otto, founded the Switzerland-based organization.

Yves Kugelmann, a member of the Anne Frank Fund's board of trustees, claims that Otto "merged, or compiled, the two versions of the diary that Anne Frank left," so he's entitled to his own copyright. Since he died in 1980, that copyright is still in place.
Adolf Hitler's anti-Semitic work, Mein Kampf, also has an expiring copyright. The manifesto can legally be purchased in Germany, but German officials fear it will cause anti-Jewish sentiment, according to the BBC.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly implied that the Anne Frank Fund was targeting a lawsuit at all publishers of The Dairy of a Young Girl, including the Cambridge Press, rather than self-publishers who content the book is now in the public domain.

More from Books & Art

What could be as breathtaking as seeing ballet dancer Misty Copeland on stage in all her glory? Seeing Misty Copeland in all her glory — between the glossy...
"The story contains many references to Bo being bisexual and an abundance of bad language, so it is recommended for mature junior and senior high readers...
We all know what it means to call someone a trainwreck. It refers to a person who has gone off the rails — a hot mess who always seems to be in the ...
Vanessa Bayer of "SNL" interviews author Jessi Klein
Sneak peek inside book ^^^^! Link to order in bio. #carrythisbook A video posted by @abbijacobson on Sep 25, 2016 at 10:33am PDT Abbi Jacobson, ...
Back in the early 1970s, Pierre Le Guennec was Pablo Picasso's handyman and electrician. Le Guennec had such a good relationship with the artist that he ...
J.K. Rowling, the reigning queen of the Wizarding World, has a present for you. That present is a quiz in which Pottermore will select your patronus. We ...
Whether rooted in reality or a glamorized rom-com, job stereotypes make it easy to assume the voices behind most runway reviews, PR pitches, and cover ...
I do not recognize Mara Wilson when she arrives at an ice cream shop in Brooklyn, wearing a red dress and a sweep of black eyeliner. When she says hello...
In honor of National Support Teen Literature Day, we've collected the best books to pick up if you're in the mood for a little young adult lit. YA has only...
There are some books you pick up because you know they'll be tear-jerkers, and you're not opposed to a good cry. Then there are the books that sucker-punch...
It's been a big year for the Winnie the Pooh characters. This summer, the original stuffed animals the literary characters are based upon (who reside in ...
Even if you're not actually going back to school, there's something about September air that makes it feel as though it's time to go buy pencils and ...
As long as books have existed, there have been people trying to stop people from reading them. And though the practice is widely condemned, it is also ...