Court finds in favour of Anne Frank House and Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

Copyright law cannot be used to thwart scientific research

Amsterdam , 12/29/2015
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The Amsterdam district court has pronounced its ruling on 23 December 2015 in a case brought against the Anne Frank House and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) by the Anne Frank Fonds from Basel, Switzerland.  The Anne Frank House and the Huygens Institute for Netherlands History (Huygens ING), which falls under the KNAW, according to the Anne Frank Fonds have violated the Fonds’ copyright by doing textual and historical research on Anne Frank’s manuscripts. The Anne Frank House and the KNAW are of the opinion that the research falls under the freedom of scientific pursuit. In its ruling, the Amsterdam court found in favour of the Anne Frank House and the KNAW.

The Anne Frank House and the KNAW are pleased with the decision of the Amsterdam court. The Anne Frank House and the KNAW are of the opinion that copyright law cannot be used to thwart scientific research, and the Amsterdam court has endorsed this view.

Scientific research

The Anne Frank House and the Huygens ING began scientific research on Anne Frank’s writings in 2011. The research focuses on Anne Frank’s development as a writer and the events she describes. All of Anne Frank’s manuscripts are being textually researched by the Huygens ING. In addition to this textual analysis, the historical aspects, unexpected connections with and background to the texts are being studied. The Anne Frank House is researching the historical background. This research is of great social and scientific value and importance because it gives good insight into how Anne Frank wrote, under what circumstances and what events played a role. The Anne Frank House and the KNAW find it important to share their knowledge with as many third parties as possible.

Publication

The scientific research on Anne Frank’s writings is still in progress. In due time the publication of the research results will take place within the applicable legal framework, including the copyright law.

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