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Article
A riddle whose answer is ‘tort’: A reassessment of International News Service v Associated Press
Modern Law Review (2013)
  • Christopher Wadlow, University of East Anglia
Abstract

The decision of the US Supreme Court in International News v Associated Press (1918) has variously been interpreted as recognising a ‘quasi-property’ right in ‘valuable intangibles’, such as hot news; as turning on unjust enrichment; or as creating a novel tort of unfair competition by misappropriation. It is suggested that the case is more authentically understood as an incidental result of a process by which the Supreme Court extended the boundaries of tort liability, and the corresponding scope of property protection, in a series of decisions against organised labour. The argument is pursued with reference to the prima facie tort theory of Oliver Wendell Holmes, the American ‘labour injunction’, and the labour law record of the author of the majority opinion in International News, Justice Mahlon Pitney.

Keywords
  • Unfair competition,
  • property in news,
  • misappropriation,
  • tort
Publication Date
July 1, 2013
Citation Information
Christopher Wadlow. "A riddle whose answer is ‘tort’: A reassessment of International News Service v Associated Press" Modern Law Review Vol. 76 Iss. 4 (2013)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/christopher_wadlow/49/