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When a celebes crested macaque took this picture of itself, it set off a storm of publicity that would end in a ruling from the US Copyright Office.
It all started when nature photographer David Slater went to Indonesia to photograph a group of macaques. After the monkeys got used to his presence some bolder ones decided to grab his camera. Slater decided to set up the camera so that it would be prepared to get a good facial close up if another monkey grabbed his camera and eventually one did.
He enjoyed watching the macaque play with its new toy and while most of the pictures it took weren't very good, one where the monkey turned the camera on itself turned out fantastic. It was so great that it caught the eye of one Wikipedia volunteer editor who decided to upload it to the online encyclopedia. This added it to its Wikimedia Commons database of images to share freely.
The editor reasoned that because the monkey took the picture and only humans can own copyright the picture is therefore in the public domain (images that are free for anyone to use.) But David Slater disagreed. He argued that the monkey selfie never would have happened if he hadn't brought his equipment there, got the monkeys acclimated to him, noticed what they were doing, and set up the right lens, etc to get a good shot.
Slater asked Wikipedia to remove the image. After discussing the issue, the editors denied his claim. It is still available on wikimedia commons, credited to the unnamed macaque and listed as being in the public domain. The latest compendium of practices issued by the US Copyright Office says that it will not register works made by non-human animals and even specifically lists "a photograph taken by a monkey" in its examples.
What do you think? Should Slater own the copyright to the image because he arranged for the shot to be taken? Should pictures taken by monkeys belong to everyone? What might this mean for professional photographers and their incentive to produced shots like these? What might it mean for amateurs looking for media to freely remix? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Gibbs, Samuel. "Monkey Business: Macaque Selfie Can't Be Copyright, Say US and UK." The Guardian. The Guardian, 22 Aug. 2014. Web. 9 Sept. 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/aug/22/monkey-business-macaque-selfie-cant-be-copyrighted-say-us-and-uk
Stewart, Louise. "Wikimedia Says When a Monkey Takes a Selfie, No One Owns It." Newsweek. Newsweek, 28 Aug. 2014. Web. 9 Sept. 2014. http://www.newsweek.com/lawyers-dispute-wikimedias-claims-about-monkey-selfie-copyright-265961
As we explore how to make our community more empathetic and inclusive around issues of gender, here are some books in the MCDS LRC that will help us understand how we can affirm the gender health of all of our children.
Dr. Diane Ehrensaft's Gender Born, Gender Made: Raising Healthy Gender-Nonconforming Children, offers a framework for helping each child become his or her own "true gender self." She offers teachers and parents guidance for living and working with children who bend the "rules" of gender. She explains that "As long as gender continues to be a defining feature of identity in our culture, every single one of our sons and daughters, whether conforming or not, will need to spin his or her unique gender web."
In Beyond Magenta Transgender Teens Speak Out, Susan Kuklin, has written and photographed the stories of six teens and their transition. Using family photos, portraits, and their own words, she takes us on a journey into the lives of these brave and honest young adults.
Raising my Rainbow: adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son by Lori Duron
“Because of Lori's courage, there is now an answer when searching how to parent a child who is gender fluid, gender non-conforming, transgender, gay or whatever label you use. This book is a wonderfully authentic read that will bring depth, joy and understanding to parents, extended families and anyone seeking to learn how parents can and do love gender creative children. To acceptance!”
—Cheryl Kilodavis, author of My Princess Boy
The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals by Stephanie Brill
A guidebook for the challenges that thousands of families face raising gender-variant children. The information in this book will deepen your understanding of transgender children and help navigate issues with compassion and practical wisdom.
Here are a few of the many picture books that can help open a discussion with young children about gender:
This July I attended the Summer Institute in Digital Literacy at the University of Rhode Island. If you want to learn more about the conference there is a wiki page (http://dliuri2014.wikispaces.com/) that includes notes from all the sessions offered and descriptions of all the projects participants worked on during the institute. I'm listing my top 5 takeaways here:
If you would like to try out any of these tools, I would be glad to show them to you one-on-one and help you integrate them into your classes!
The votes are tallied for the fourth annual picture book character vote! We read our kindergarten through third grade classes books with Pinkerton the Great Dane, Pig Pig the pig, Stillwater the panda, and Basil the mouse. It was a close competition, but Stillwater beat Basil by just two votes!
As reigning picture book champion he has won the chance to go on vacation with members of the MCDS community. He enjoys going places near and far. Whatever you are doing this summer, Stillwater would love to join you! If you would like to participate, it's easy! Just print out a picture of Stillwater and take your picture with him this summer. Then send the picture to email@example.com I will collect the images for a display of Stillwater's travels in the dragon room. Forgot to print out Stillwater before your trip? No problem! Download the png version of Stillwater below and easily add him to your vacation photos. If you're unsure how to do this, you can always e-mail me the Stillwater-less photos and I can add some extra panda to them for you.
The Tools We Use event on Tuesday showcased art and technology at MCDS and invited visitors to explore new tools. Students were on hand to teach visitors how to use the tools they use in their classes. Activities happened all over campus, and there were a lot of great interactive stations here in the LRC. Look at the slideshow below to see some of the LRC highlights.
We had 1,744 check outs last month despite having a week off. Series were popular with Dance Class the number one search and Amulet, Geronimo Stilton, and Garfield all in the top check outs. Tech was busy with 98 tickets received, but there were zero broken iPads!