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Colonial CopyrightIntellectual Property in Mandate Palestine$
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Michael D. Birnhack

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199661138

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199661138.001.0001

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Telegraphic News

Telegraphic News

(p.212) 9 Telegraphic News
Colonial Copyright

Michael D Birnhack

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the first major copyright case: Palestine Telegraphic Agency (PTA) v Adel Jaber. The PTA was a Jewish-owned news agency, a subsidiary of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), and later representing Reuters in Palestine. Jaber was the owner of a new (and short lived) Arab newspaper, affiliated with the Arab national movement. The PTA claimed that the newspaper copied its telegraphic news. The question of ownership of news was a global issue at the time. This case is contextualized within two broader frameworks. One is that of technological developments, which resulted in competition between old (print) and new (telegraph) means of communication, that are explained, in turn, on the background of the global attempt to protect news. The copyright lawsuit was a means to convince newspapers to subscribe to the PTA’s telegraphic news services. A second broader story is the Palestinian identity puzzle, given the identity of the parties.

Keywords:   news, news agency, Telegraph, Reuters, technology, litigation, Palestine Telegraphic Agency, Adel Jaber, nationalism

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