Abstract

Abstract:

This article explores nineteenth-century efforts to obtain legal protection for news in relation to shifts in the media landscape in Britain. It shows how the campaign to repeal the stamp duty led a handful of London publishers to lobby for a special copyright in news. These efforts failed but not without sparking debates in Parliament and the press about how best to guarantee public access to quality journalism. Later in the century, lawsuits brought by the Times clarified the scope of protection for news articles, including reports of public speeches, but efforts to protect news and information as such continued to face opposition. The article concludes with the Copyright Act of 1911, which explicitly recognized copyright in newspaper articles but not for the underlying factual details of news that some publishers had fought for.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-526X
Print ISSN
0709-4698
Pages
pp. 640-660
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-14
Open Access
No
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