Monkey Selfie lawsuit

Source

In 2011, a wildlife photographer, David Slater, set up a camera in the jungles of Indonesia.  Naruto (a monkey) found the camera and snapped a photo (a selfie).  The photo became the subject of a copyright battle between Slater and representation for the monkey (PETA)

  • Slater argued that he engineered the situation that allowed the monkey to take the selfie (travelled to Indonesia, befriending a group of wild monkeys, and setting the camera up in such a way that the selfie could come about)
  • Wikimedia corporation got involved—refused to remove the image from their image library, based upon the understanding that the copyright is held by the creator, that a non-human creator (not being a legal person) cannot hold copyright, therefor the image is part of the public domain
  • PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) stepped in and defended the monkey, arguing that animals can be declared copyright holders
    • When Slater published self-published a book of photos with the monkey selfie in it, PETA filed a lawsuit, claiming that the monkey be assigned copyright, and that PETA be appointed to administer proceeds from the photos for the endangered species’ benefit
  • In 2016, a judge ruled that the monkey cannot own the copyright to the images
  • In 2017, PETA appealed, and last week, all sides agreed to a settlement in which Slater will donate a portion of future revenues on the photographs to wildlife organizations

 

Questions:

  • Who should have ownership rights over the monkey selfie?
  • Should PETA make money off the monkey selfie?
Advertisements

Kendall and Kylie Jenner Chinese Take-out Handbag Called Cultural Appropriation

Source

The Jenner sisters just released a new bag for fall called the Lee Leather Clutch —shaped and designed like a Chinese takeout container

  • Interestingly, this article is wondering if the bag will spark controversy and claims of cultural appropriation. And because of this article, other online magazines are talking about it, wondering the same thing (Huffington Post, Bustle, Taxi,)
  • The Jenner’s have been accused OFTEN of cultural appropriation (copying Cholla culture with an image of one of the Jenner’s wearing a plaid button-up shirt, only top two buttons done over a bra and loose-fitting pants); shirt design by them in which they superimposed their faces over old rap stars like Tupac and Biggie (accused of both cultural appropriation AND claiming that they were “above” or better than the rappers)
  • The bag was pulled from the shelves (it also was accused of copying a Kate Spade bag from 3 years ago

Questions:

  • How should cultural appropriation be defined? What is the difference between “cultural appropriation” and “influence”?  Aren’t all artists and creative people influenced by their surroundings?
  • What should be off-limits when it comes to cultural appropriation? Fashion styles (there’s a lot of talk about cultural appropriation there—hair, jewelry, fashion); music (lots of talk about white singers appropriating rap and hip hop); what about food (lots of food is influenced by other cultures)

 

UC Berkeley Faculty Members Call for Boycotts during Free Speech Week

Source

200+ UC Berkeley instructors are calling for a shutdown of classes and activities during upcoming “Free Speech Week,” organized by The Berkeley Patriot Student Group, which will include right-wing speakers Steve Bannon and Milo Yiannopoulos, James Damore (author of the Google memo) and conservative commentator Ann Coulter (and several others)

  • Protesting instructors said that a boycott would protect their students from “potentially deadly violence” (letter cited shootings, stabbings and beatings during confrontations between right and left in Seattle, Portland, Oregon, Charlottesville, Maryland and Virginia)
    • “The reality is that particularly vulnerable populations (DACA students, non-white, gender queer, Muslims, disabled, feminists, others) have already been harmed, and are reporting increased levels of fear and anxiety about the upcoming events, the increased police presence on our campus, and how all this will impact their lives and their studies.”
  • Berkeley has long been considered the “home of the free speech movement”
    • Lately has been a hotbed of conflict between the right and left
  • Yiannopoulos’ response: “The fewer classes taught by the lunatics in the Berkeley asylum the better…If all it takes to stop left-wing indoctrination on campus is me showing up, I’ll happily move into a tent on Sproul Plaza full time.”
    • Yiannopoulos added that students face more danger from the left than the right (he called it “the far left that Berkeley has enabled and nurtured”—the speaker list that was leaked gave a heads-up to left-wing groups like Antifa
  • Berkeley Chancellor Carol T. Christ’s response: “Our belief in free speech is most tested when it is speech that’s odious or abhorrent…I wish our community could not only hold that value but also understand that it’s by showing it up for what it is that we move forward.”

Questions:

  • Is Berkeley relinquishing ideas about free speech in the name of protecting people from violence that may or may not occur? Does what they are doing fall more about “protection” or more about “censorship”?
  • What “dangers from the left” is Yiannopoulos referring to? Is the left “enabling and nurturing” something? If so, what?

Ex-convict accepted to prestigious university, then kicked out

Source

Michelle Jones served 20 years in Indiana prison for the murder of her 4-yr. old son.  While she was in prison, she became a published scholar of American history and her work was chosen as the best research project by the Indiana Historical Society last year.  Lots of prestigious schools recruited her for their doctoral programs (Harvard, NYU).  She applied to Harvard, and was accepted (only 18 taken out of 300 + applicants).  Harvard then overrode the history departments decision to accept Jones after some professors raised concerns that she played down her crime in the application process (She was accepted, and is going to, NYU)

  • President, provost and deans of the graduate school reversed the decision of the History department “out of concern that her background would cause a backlash among rejected applicants, conservative news outlets or parents of students”
  • Harvard spokeswoman wouldn’t comment on this specific case, but offered a general statement saying the graduate school “is committed to recruiting and enrolling students from all backgrounds…(and) strives to create an inclusive and supportive environment where all students can thrive.”
    • Article says that Harvard has “made room for a wider range of voices on its campus in recent years, including the formerly incarcerated
      • Hired minority faculty who have broadened perspectives about prison reform and black culture
    • The investigation into Jones’ application questioned whether she had “minimized her crime to the point of misrepresentation”
      • (One of the professors that flagged her application) “We didn’t have some preconceived idea about crucifying Michelle…but frankly, we knew that anyone could just punch her crime into Google, and Fox News would probably say that P.C. liberal Harvard gave 200 grants of funding to a child murderer, who also happened to be a minority. I mean, c’mon.”
      • Another consideration, the professor stated was “if this candidate is admitted to Harvard, where everyone is an elite among elites, that adjustment could be too much.”
        • Jones’ response: “People don’t survive 20 years of incarceration with any kind of grace unless they have the discipline to do their reading and writing in the chaos of that place…forget Harvard. I’ve already graduated from the toughest school there is.”
      • Crime: Jones became pregnant at 14 after non-consensual sex (she stated it was nonconsensual), her mother responded by beating her in the stomach with a board, Jones placed in foster homes.  Jones said she had a psychological breakdown after years of abandonment and domestic violence, inflicted similar treatment on her own son, and ended up beating him, leaving him alone for days, and burying him after she came home to find him dead.
        • Sentenced to 50 years in prison, released after 20 yrs. on good behavior and educational attainment
        • In her statement to Harvard, Jones wrote “I have made a commitment to myself and him that with the time I have left, I will live a redeemed life, one of service and value to others”

Questions:

  • “Ban the Box” initiatives to remove a question about criminal records from their initial applications is targeted to non-violent offenders. Should violent offenders who have served their time, be given the same “fresh start” as non-violent offenders
    • Jones’ prosecutor who gave her the original sentence said “I’m the prosecutor, not (Harvard). Michelle Jones served her time, and she served a long time, exactly what she deserved.  A sentence is a sentence.”
  • What information should Jones have included in her application to Harvard?

 

Kim Kardashian and Sharon Osbourne Fight about Nude Photos and Feminism

Source

Sharon Osbourne quoted in a Telegraph interview saying that Kim posts nudes in the name of feminism, but that showing your body isn’t really a feminist act.   Kim responded to the allegations that she posts nudes “in the name of feminism”

  • Osbourne: “Kim said she’s doing everything in the name of feminism, but that’s not feminism…Those girls live off their bodies…and everything they do from the sex tape to the plastic see-through dresses and the gym wear is about sex, not female progress.”
  • Kardashian: “First of all, I think she said I said a quote about ‘I post nude photos in the name of feminism.’ Never said that…’I post nude photos because I like how I look and I feel proud when I’ve lost all this baby weight and I post it because I feel like posting it, and I feel powerful.”

Questions:

  • What is a feminist? Who gets to decide what a feminist is, and how all feminists should act?
  • If part of feminism is the idea that women get to decide what to do with their own bodies, does posting nude selfies fit into this idea?

Equifax Hacked

Source

Source

Security breach began several months ago, and has exposed sensitive personal data of 143 million Americans

  • Equifax is one of three major consumer credit reporting agencies—has wide access to individuals’ financial records
  • Social security #s, driver’s license #s, birth dates, addresses
    • In some cases, Experian says, the security questions and answers used on some websites to verify users’ identity may have also been exposed
  • Breach discovered on July 29th—company says it has found no unauthorized activity on its main consumer or commercial credit reporting databases
  • This particular breach is particularly troubling because the information there makes up the foundation of our online identity (easy to use this info. to enact identity fraud—these are the items of info. necessary to open a bank or credit account)
  • Company waited 39 days to tell customers about the breach
  • 3 days after the breach, three Equifax senior execs sold $1.8 million in stock
  • Equifax is now offering:
    • Website set up for individuals to check if their info. was compromised, but it requires users to plug in their last name and last six digits of their SS #’s
    • Users to sign up for Equifax’s “TrustedID Premier” credit monitoring service—free for a year, $19.95 after that (users must sign to give up their right to filing or joining a class action suit)

Questions:

  • Could Equifax have handled this hack differently? What should they have done to make their customers feel better? Is there any way to “feel better” about your most personal and identifying information being insecure?
  • Is there anything we can do in this information environment to protect personal, identifying information?

Petition to replace MN Capitol Columbus with statue of Prince

Source

Progressive activist Wintana Melekin started a petition, saying “Rather than glorify a man who wanted to extinguish black and native peoples, we should honor members of our community whose leadership we find inspirational.”

  • Petition said Prince brought people together, preached peace, love and understanding, and advocated social justice in his lyrics (but, wasn’t a governor or political force)
  • Board in charge of statues won’t consider individuals as subjects for statues until they are dead for at least 10 years and the person must be “of statewide significance”
  • Other area statues include civil rights leader Roy Wilkins, aviator Charles Lindbergh, and Gov. Floyd B. Olson, Depression-era MN Farmer-Labor party leader (on top of State capitol)
    • Related debate going on right now: new movement to change the name of the Lindbergh terminal at the MN airport—Lindbergh was an anti-semite/Nazi-sympathizer; accepted the Order of the German Eagle from Goring (who was sentenced to death for war crimes and crimes against humanity at Nuremberg)
  • 10-ft. tall Columbus statue was a gift from the state’s Italian American community, dedicated in October 1931
  • Comments on my FB page about this article: “Prince died of a drug overdose”; “I love Prince, but…really? There are a lot of noteworthy Minnesotans who did great things and didn’t die from drug overdoses. Scott Fitzgerald. Charles Lindbergh.  Sinclair Lewis.”

Questions:

  • What should be done about historical statues if the individual depicted has some history of racism, sexism, or some other form of cruelty, oppression or prejudice—should we overlook certain behaviors if there were especially heroic or patriotic actions performed by the individuals?
  • What kinds of behaviors should be “allowed” and “not allowed” by statue nominees (Addiction? Alcoholism? Extramarital affairs? Behaviors not questioned during the individual’s particular time period?)
  • Should statues of famous people just not be erected at all, since we cannot ever know which individuals will trigger negative feelings in viewers?
  • What kinds of statues should go where? Does a Prince statue (or statue of any entertainer) belong in front or on top of the state capitol building?