BASEL, SWITZERLAND – EQS Newswire – 2 February 2022 – Works by Anne Frank have been uploaded onto a Belgian website, which is run by a letterbox company and uses geo-blocking. The letterbox company was set up by the Anne Frank Stichting (AFS) and Huygens ING, an organisation with links to the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). The Anne Frank Fonds Basel (AFF) instigated a lawsuit against the letterbox company and against the Anne Frank Stichting and KNAW, as this covert bypassing of the protected copyright meant that the works of Anne Frank were also easily accessible in the Netherlands. The court rejected the AFF’s lawsuit.
The court did not take into account the fact that geo-blocking is routinely bypassed nowadays by means of a proxy server or a VPN. This means that the Belgian website and the diaries are easily accessible from the Netherlands. Neither did it consider the offensive covert actions of the Anne Frank Stichting and KNAW through the letterbox company.
John D. Goldsmith, President of the AFF, is concerned: “The verdict could mean that in the future the works of Anne Frank could be made unlawfully available to the whole world by anybody in any country where the copyrights have expired. We will defend copyrights and take the appropriate measures in order to create legal certainty for the Anne Frank Fonds Basel, the publishing houses and its readers.”
Statement by the Anne Frank Fonds Basel on the court verdict of 1 February 2022
About the Anne Frank Fonds Basel
As the only organisation established by Otto Frank, the Anne Frank Fonds (AFF) was founded in 1963 and represents the Frank family. In cooperation with publishing houses, the foundation is responsible for the publication of the diary of Anne Frank worldwide. The foundation also manages the rights to the family’s writings and letters. The not-for-profit organisation is committed to various funded projects that, for example, strengthen children’s rights, provide education against racism and anti-Semitism, and work to promote peace.
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