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The Office will not register works produced by nature, animals, or plants. Likewise, the Office cannot register a work purportedly created by divine or supernatural beings…


• A photograph taken by a monkey.

• A mural painted by an elephant…

• An application for a song naming the Holy Spirit as the author of the work.

The US Copyright office says you can’t copyright things made by animals, gods, or ghosts (via austinkleon)

Twitter was also affected by algorithmic filtering. “Ferguson” did not trend in the US on Twitter but it did trend locally. [I’ve since learned from @gilgul that that it *briefly* trended but mostly trended at localities.] So, there were fewer chances for people not already following the news to see it on their “trending” bar. Why? Almost certainly because there was already national, simmering discussion for many days and Twitter’s trending algorithm (said to be based on a method called “term frequency inverse document frequency”) rewards spikes… So, as people in localities who had not been talking a lot about Ferguson started to mention it, it trended there though the national build-up in the last five days penalized Ferguson.

Algorithms have consequences.

What happens to #Ferguson affects what happens to Ferguson.

What Happens to #Ferguson Affects Ferguson: Net Neutrality, Algorithmic Filtering and Ferguson

I came across a quote a few weeks ago—one that so perfectly encapsulates the outdatedness and skepticism surrounding copyright law—that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen before: “The 1976 Copyright Act is a good 1950 copyright law.”

It was attributed to someone I didn’t know: Barbara Ringer.

For all that Babs did, it is her vision of the Next Great Copyright Act that stays with me the most. Barbara Ringer said that the public interest of copyright law should be “to provide the widest possible access to information of all kinds.”

The Lost and Found Legacy of Barbara Ringer

Remembering one of the architects of American copyright law—and one of the legal world’s pioneering women
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