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Putting Intellectual Property in its PlaceRights Discourses, Creative Labor, and the Everyday$
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Laura J. Murray, S. Tina Piper, and Kirsty Robertson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199336265

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199336265.001.0001

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Exchange Practices among Nineteenth-Century US Newspaper Editors

Exchange Practices among Nineteenth-Century US Newspaper Editors

Cooperation in Competition

(p.86) 5 Exchange Practices among Nineteenth-Century US Newspaper Editors
Putting Intellectual Property in its Place

Laura J. Murray

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the US news industry in the nineteenth century. In the 1830s and 1840s, periodical articles were not copyrightable and were generally treated as a common resource to be reprinted without permission; this practice was actively facilitated by tailored postal rates and governed by informal norms amongst editors. Today, the news industry is a hotbed of IP conflict, with news corporations fighting in court over whether bloggers can reprint their headlines, whether “hot news” is proprietary, and whether Internet links constitute copyright infringement. The chapter suggests that IP law is an awkward fit with the needs and practices of journalism. It looks at late nineteenth-century disputes over “hot news” and shows that while these represent efforts to establish IP hegemony over news circulation practices, they continue to meet persistent challenges from non-IP ways of doing things.

Keywords:   intellectual property, IP law, news industry, copyright, editors, journalism

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