Home » Currently Reading:

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Will Slauter (Univ. Paris Diderot – Institut universitaire de France), “Who Owns the News? Journalism and Intellectual Property in Historical Perspective”

Thursday, March 3, 2016 @ 4:15 PM - 6:00 PM

In Association with the Centre for Innovation Law and Policy (Faculty of Law) and the Friends of the Victoria University Library

Concerns about the piracy of news go back at least to the seventeenth century, when complaints involved counterfeit ballads hawked on the streets rather than articles reposted on the Internet. But with respect to copyright law, news publications—whatever their material form—have followed an unusual trajectory. This lecture will draw on a range of news publications (including broadsides, pamphlets, newspapers, and magazines) to consider long-term shifts in attitudes toward the copying and republication of news. It will compare developments in Great Britain and the United States from the seventeenth century through the early twentieth century. At several moments during this period, new forms of publication, new conceptions of journalism, and new modes of distribution led writers and publishers to try to claim exclusive rights over journalistic texts. While some proposed a special copyright for news, others sought to create standards about what could be copied and how such copied material should be acknowledged. By studying shifting attitudes toward the ownership of news alongside changes in how writers, editors, and printers worked, this lecture will offer a historical perspective on contemporary debates about journalism and intellectual property.


Will Slauter is an associate professor of English studies at Université Paris Diderot – Paris 7 and a member of the Institut universitaire de France (IUF). He received a PhD in history from Princeton University and has taught at Columbia University, Florida State University, and Université Paris 8 (2010-2015). He studies the history of authorship and publishing, with a particular interest in newspapers, and is currently working on a book about the history of copyright in journalism. This research has been supported by residential fellowships at the New York Public Library, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Antiquarian Society (NEH Fellow 2015), and the Library of Congress (Kluge Fellow 2015-2016).


Thursday, March 3, 2016
4:15 PM - 6:00 PM
Event Category:


Victoria College: Alumni Hall (VC112)
91 Charles Street W.
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1K7 Canada
+ Google Map


Toronto Centre for the Book

Upcoming Events

  1. Orientation for Incoming Students

    Monday, September 17 @ 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  2. Librorum

    Wednesday, December 5 @ 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  3. Annual General Meeting

    Wednesday, April 10, 2019 @ 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Like us on Facebook

Instagram Slider

BHPC flickr feed