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Literary Theft in the Emigre Press of the 1920s. The newspaper "Posledniye izvestiya" ("Latest news") (Revel/Tallinn)

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For citation: Bakuntsev A.V. (2016) Literaturnoe vorovstvo v emigrantskoy presse 1920-kh gg. Gazeta «Poslednie izvestiya» (Revel'/Tallin) [Literary Theft in the Emigre Press of the 1920s. The Newspaper "Posledniye izvestiya" ("Latest news") (Revel/Tallinn)]. Mediaskop 3. Available at:


© Anton V. Bakuntsev

Ph.D., Associate Professor, Chair of Editing, Publishing and Information Science, Faculty of Journalism Moscow State University (Moscow, Russia),



The scientific novelty of this paper lies in the fact that it perhaps the first in the Russian humanitarian studies to address the issue of copyright compliance of Russian writers and journalists who were placed abroad after the October Revolution of 1917. Thus, the article has an explicit interdisciplinary philological, historical and legal character.

It raises the question of whether it is possible at all to talk about copyright law in context of emigration, given the fact that representatives of this very specific category of authors from a legal perspective generally were not just foreigners, but stateless persons. That is why they could not seriously expect the copyright protection from the states, which gave them shelter.

Nevertheless, émigré writers and journalists were sure of the inviolability of the copyright law vested in them and demanded its strict enforcement. The author of this article insists on the fact that these demands had no legal basis. As an example of the alleged copyright violation this article contains the analysis of the editorial board of the daily socio-political and literary newspaper "Posledniye izvestiya"(Revel/Tallinn, 1920−1927), which was  classified as "marauding" by the contemporaries (in particular, by the socio-political newspaper of V. L. Burtsev "Obscheye Delo"("Common Business")).

The basis for such charges was constructed by the fact that in 1921 during a period of a few months, the "Posledniye izvestiya"reprinted journalistic and artistic works illegally taken from the other periodicals of the Russian Abroad.

The author argues that the case of  the newspaper "Posledniye izvestiya" (as well as other similar cases) should be regarded as a problem not so much of legal character, but more as an ethical issue owing to the fact that the Russian Abroad being a cultural and political "enclave", lived mostly by unwritten laws which altogether constituted a kind of "code of honor". Such a code applied to all the spheres of life and activities without exception, also including the area of literary, artistic and scientific creativity.

Keywords: the copyright, the Russian Abroad, the emigrant press, the plagiarism, the newspaper "Posledniye izvestiya" ("Latest news").



Dekrety sovetskoy vlasti: v 18 t. Moscow, 1957. Vol. 1. [Soviet Decrees in 18 volumes].

Gosudarstvennyy arkhiv Rossiyskoy Federatsii. [State Archive of the Russian Federation].

F. R-6114. Op. 1. D. 7. L. 1–20. 

The Materials of the Newspapers: Obscheye Delo (Paris). 1921; Posledniye izvestiya (Paris). 1930; Vozrozhdeniye (Paris). 1930; Novoye Vremya (Belgrade)Ляхницкий_Ростислав_Стефанович


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