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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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At a Crossroad

At a Crossroad

Chapter:
(p.256) 11 At a Crossroad
Source:
Colonial Copyright
Author(s):

Michael D Birnhack

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199661138.003.0012

Chapter 11 addresses the Jewish community towards the end of the Mandate. As the local legal and cultural fields matured, courts and lawyers grew familiarized with copyright law. The first all-Jewish copyright cases reached litigation in the mid 1930s. A few cases illustrate the complexities of legal issues, especially, choice of law. The first cases addressed the works of the most important Zionist figures, Theodor Herzl and Ahad Ha’am. A third case addressed a new version of a biblical concordance. The colonial courts were called to apply German copyright law, but preferred procedural British law instead. The chapter looks at another segment of the Jewish population, the orthodox community. Jewish law developed a body of copyright law. But, it was absent from the legal scene in Palestine. A case about ancient Jewish texts provides a window to observe the internal norms and relationship within a small group of scholars.

Keywords:   Herzl, Ahad Ha’am, choice of law, German copyright law, concordance, Jewish copyright law, orthodox Jews, ancient texts

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