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Black macaque selfie, still copyright-free.
Macaque selfie
I can use this picture because a macaque took it. Look forward to seeing it often.

In August 2014, a court ruled that a human photographer who owned the camera a  black macaque used to take a selfie cannot claim copyright on the picture, using the same logic that says complete strangers don't own the copyright on a the picture you took of them standing in front of the Teddy Roosevelt butter sculpture at the state fair when they handed you their phone to use.

Now a U.S. District Court judge has ruled that the monkey doesn't own the photo either. PETA had brought the lawsuit on the monkey's behalf; the judged determined that the law doesn't specify that non-humans can claim photograph ownership, using the same logic that explains why your car doesn't own the copyright on the photo of you driving through a speed trap on the toll road. Also, since there are no monkeys in PETA, he had doubts about their legal standing to represent their client. (Sidenote: Does anyone actually know where the client is these days?)

The photographer insists he will appeal and win, since he intended to take a picture.

In other words: Black macaque selfie, still copyright-free.

New digital editions from Apple Books: The Harry Potter books get digital illustrations that mimic the magic images in the Harry Potter books.

The Harry Potter books get digital illustrations that mimic the magic images in the Harry Potter books.


...It still falls short of the wizard world versions, but maybe that's in part because we know how the trick works these days; maybe wizards aren't as wowed by their own living pictures either.

harry potter gif

Available exclusively through Apple books (or iTunes or whatever they're calling it these days), at least for now. Standard digital versions that work on all platforms available at

animation (1)

Surprisingly, the new versions are competitively priced with the existing editions at $9.99 each; so if you read on an Apple device, and you like to watch the occasional looped cartoon out of the corner of your eye as you read, then why not.

[Illustrations and more details at The Verge and Time.]