Who Owns (What We Characterize as) the News?

Critical Analysis of Law, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2019

12 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2020

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

Will Slauter’s Who Owns the News? (2019) is subtitled A History of Copyright, but it could just as easily have been subtitled A History of Journalism. Slauter’s thoughtful and detailed story of the battle among newspaper publishers to secure legal and other protection for their work product is inseparable from questions about what it means for something to be “news” in the first place — and, indeed, whether “journalism” is something different from “news.” Developments subsequent to Slauter’s history — the emergence of the journalist as a literary figure, the heightened need to see news publishing as an economic (and profitable) enterprise, and the expectations of the audience as to what requires payment and what should be freely available and shareable — both reinforce and extend his narrative.

Keywords: Slauter, Copyright, News, Journalism

Suggested Citation

Heymann, Laura A., Who Owns (What We Characterize as) the News? (2019). Critical Analysis of Law, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3516967

Laura A. Heymann (Contact Author)

William & Mary Law School ( email )

613 South Henry Street
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States

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