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.

animation

...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 Pottermore.com.

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.]

According to the New York Times, sales of e-books have cooled off.

fbtu23cov-thumbAccording to the New York Times, sales of e-books have cooled off.  The dazzling arrival of e-books has cooled into the practical, mundane reality of reading. It's not that people have turned against e-books, but they're concentrating on the book, and not differentiating on the platform.

Something similar is happening with phones; while adults and teens are addicted to tiny screens, younger kids are less interested. In part, this is the natural urge to be different from the oldsters; but it's also a lack of tech adoration. These devices are a normal, mundane part of their lives, not magic.

"Jean Shepherd's America" ran on PBS back in the 70s. Thirty minutes on the philosophy, and culture, of American beer. Not good beer; American beer.

"Jean Shepherd's America" ran on PBS back in the 70s. It was on Wednesdays -- or was it Saturday? This was when you had to actually watch things when they were on. Wish I could hear what Jean Shepherd would have to say about that.

Thirty minutes on the philosophy, and culture, of American beer. Not good beer; American beer.