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By Gwen Franck on Apr 26, 2016


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April 26 is World Intellectual Property Day. On this day, COMMUNIA Association for the Public Domain,Centrum Cyfrowe (Poland) and Kennisland (Netherlands) want to highlight one of the absurd consequences of the fragmented copyright regime in the European Union - the fact that Anne Frank's Diary is in the Public Domain in one member state (Poland), but still protected by copyright in most other countries. We are using #ReadAnneDiary as hashtag, encouraging people to voice their objections against this absurd situation - and calling upon the European legislator to fully harmonize copyright terms across the EU and shorten them to the internationally required minimum standard of 50 years after the death of the author.

On Tuesday the 26th of April 2016 Centrum Cyfrowe, a Warsaw, Poland based NGO, will publish the original, dutch language version of The Diary of Anne Frank online at The original writings of Anne Frank have not been available online so far and this publication is the first time that internet users will have the ability to read them online. To accommodate for the fact that Anne's original writings are still protected by copyright in most member states of the European Union, the online version will only be accessible for internet users from Poland. Internet users who try to access the online version from outside Poland will be presented with a geoblocked version of the website that explains to them that they are not able to access the diaries because of longer copyright terms in their home countries.

With this limited publication of the original version of the diaries Centrum Cyfrowe, Kennisland and the COMMUNIA Association for the Public Domain seek to highlight the absurdly long duration of copyright in the EU, the fact that, contrary to general assumptions, the duration of copyright is still not harmonized across the EU and the troubling fact of geoblocking which creates boundaries online.

If you want to join us, use #ReadAnneDiary on Tuesday April 26, make some noise on Twitter and join our FB event. If you have some place, you can also use #fixcopyright. Let's get this topic trending !

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written by Gwen Franck
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