Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, written by the young teen living in the Nazi occupied Netherlands between 1942-1944, has recently gained a co-author: Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father and the person who found her diary. In Europe, copyrights expire 70 years after the author’s death. In order for Anne Frank Fonds, the Swiss Foundation that holds the copyright of the book, to extend its copyright, they have acknowledged Anne Frank’s father as a co-author. Otto Frank, who passed away in 1980, is already known as an editor and compiler of Anne Frank’s published diary, but naming him as an author ensures that the Anne Frank Fonds will hold the copyright until the end of 2050, rather than the end of this year. In extending the copyright, anyone who wants to publish the book would have to either pay royalties to or receive permission from the Anne Frank Fonds, founded in 1962 by Otto Frank.
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Otto Frank wrote a prologue in the first publication, ensuring that the book was made up mostly of his daughter’s words, written while hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam. The decision to include him as an author has been controversial, especially in regards to intellectual property rights. According to the New York Times, French lawyer Agnes Tricoire cautioned that the foundation “should think very carefully about the consequences” of such actions, and that their argument for adding a co-author implies “that they have lied for years about the fact that it was only written by Anne Frank.”
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