Intellectual Property – Copyright

One of my lectures at university covered the topic of copyright and it made me think of two things:

1. How we copyright content at my workplace
2. A story I read about Anne Frank’s diary whilst I was in Amsterdam

If you want to brush up on the story of Anne Frank, I’d recommend watching the below video. It’s from and around 4 minutes long. It provides a great overview of the history behind the writings.

[contentcards url=”” target=”_blank”]

Anne Frank’s Diary – The Copyright Battle

When copyright expires, it becomes publicly available for use without permission from the owner. This means that a piece of work can be published online for free for anyone to access.

There are several versions of Anne Frank’s diary, edited and unedited; the edited version was published by Anne’s father, Otto Frank, in 1947. The copyright covering Anne Frank’s diary expired in 2016; at present, the book is available online to the public for free in Dutch (the translations of the book are still covered by copyright) But there is much controversy over who authored and edited the book. Ultimately this information determines if the copyright has expired or if it can be extended.

The Swiss foundation currently holds the copyright to the diary, and they believe that Anne’s father Otto, is the co-author of the diary. Anne Frank Stichting, the company who runs the Anne Frank House and museum, in Amsterdam, argue against this “Is Otto Frank co-author of the diary of Anne Frank? No, Anne Frank is the sole author of the diary versions A and B [her own, edited version], and the short stories. There is no co-author in these writings, not Otto Frank or any other person.” (Boztas, 2015). Otto Frank died in 1980; however, if he is granted co-authorship, it would mean that the copyright would extend to 2050.

Work reflection – Copyright Statement

Recently at work, I have been redesigning some of the course content and styling. One of the items under review was the Copyright statement. We currently have a copyright statement included in the introduction page of our online content:

Copyright Notice
This document and its content is copyright of XXXX © XXXX 2018. All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited other than the following:
1. You may print or download to a local hard disk extracts for your personal and non-commercial use only.
2. You may copy the content to individual third parties for their personal use, but only if you acknowledge the website as the source of the material. You may not, except with our express written permission, distribute or commercially exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system.

It’s quite a chunk of writing and takes up quite a bit of space on the page; it’s also styled in quite an ugly way. I did some research into copyright and discovered that there is no legal requirement to include a copyright notice, however it is strongly advised to use one as a deterrent.  The recommendation for the notification is as follows:

Copyright © [year of publication/date ranges] [author name]

Some countries don’t accept the copyright symbol alone, so prefixing it with the word Copyright is recommended. You can extend your copyright notification with a statement (which is what we have) however our statement says that unless permission is granted, or a reference is provided, our content cannot be reused. In this case, the term “All right reserved” could be used as a blanket statement to cover all eventualities. For example:

Copyright © 2017-2018 All rights reserved.

I’ve suggested that we go ahead with the smaller statement. However, work wants to check with the legal team to make sure we are covered before proceeding.


Boztas, S (2015) ‘Anne Frank publishers locked in copyright battle,’ The Telegraph, 11 Nov, available [accessed 22 Feb. 2018].

The UK Copyright Service (2000) ‘Fact sheet P-03: Using Copyright Notices,’ June 2016, Available at: [Accessed 22 Feb. 2018]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.