Honors College Releases the 2014 Issue of The Eagle Feather

The Eagle Feather, an interdisciplinary undergraduate research journal at UNT, celebrated the publication of Issue 11 on October 7, 2014. The current issue contains 33 student research projects in biological sciences, linguistics and technical communication, teacher education, social and behavioral sciences, sociology, political science, and English.

Highlights include:

  • The addition of two new faculty editors — Dr. James Duban and Dr. Diana Elrod
  • A special feature collection of poetry
  • Inclusion of research articles produced in two of UNT’s new core capstone classes — linguistics and sociology
  • Research articles examining the lives of women in colonial America
  • Mentor of the year — Dr. Jeanne Tunks
  • Department of the year — Department of Biological Sciences
  • Where Are They Now? — Highlighting student researchers from the 2005 issue

The User Interfaces Unit receives research articles in Word document format beginning in July of each year and transforms them into an electronic journal format. We have provided services and website maintenance to The Eagle Feather since 2004.

Pierrot Players to Perform Rare Work

The UNT Pierrot Chamber Players, a collection of UNT College of Music-affiliated instrumentalists and singers, will perform the challenging work of Arnold Schoenberg, an Austrian composer considered one of the most important musical contributors of the 20th century. The program will include a duo of related repertoire: the world premiere of L’Après-midi d’un Schoenberg and a UNT student arrangement of Danzón No. 2.

The free concert, titled Pierrot Throughout the World, takes place at 8 p.m. Sept. 17 in Voertman Hall, located inside the UNT Music Building.

To learn more, please read the full InHouse article: Pierrot players to perform rare work.

Texas Digital Newspaper Program: Two Million Pages Preserved

Recently, the Texas Digital Newspaper Program (TDNP) reached two million pages of Texas newspapers on The Portal to Texas History.  Made digitally available from microfilm, physical pages, and PDF e-print editions, the newspapers offer a glimpse into daily life in Texas from 1829 to the present.  The collection represents communities from across Texas with newspapers from high schools, colleges, large cities, small towns, and special interest groups.

The Digital Newspaper Team supports any kind of Texas newspaper preservation, and each member’s effort advances the larger success of TDNP and the communities who have added their newspapers to the collection.  Individuals, community societies, and institutions have all contributed to the TDNP in order to preserve their heritage and support research and education on a worldwide scale. We particularly wish to thank the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Tocker Foundation, the Ladd and Katherine Hancher Foundation, and the Abilene Library Consortium for their generous patronage.

The two million page milestone does not just represent the work of the Digital Newspaper Team at UNT; it also shows how much newspaper preservation and access mean to communities throughout Texas.  On November 6, 2014, the UNT Libraries will host a celebration for the partners who have made this possible, at which point the Texas Digital Newspaper Program will approach 2.5 million pages!

Digitized Book Images and Macaque Copyright Ownership

Historic Copyright Friendly Book Images

Kalev Leetaru recently uploaded to Flickr 2.6 million fully-tagged images and drawings from various books. This endeavor is part of the Internet Archive Organization’s scanning process. Since each image is tagged, users can efficiently search for and locate images using simple keyword searches. Leetaru hopes this digital archive will serve as a historical archive that will serve those needing images. Hopefully, others will follow in uploading images that can be freely utilized by others. One option I might encourage others to include when uploading such images is to include a Creative Commons license on these items so that any doubt of subsequent use is assuaged.

 

Macaque Selfie

Most everyone read or heard about the Celebes crested macaque in Sulawesi, Indonesia taking selfies with David Slater’s camera. Now, a legal dispute exists to determine who owns the photos created by the macaques, and not by Slater. Slater of course claims that his “toil and trouble” lead to the creation of these photos, and thus he advocates it does not matter that he did not actually create the photos (he did not press the button on the camera that lead to the creation of the photo, the macaques pressed the button). In essence, Slater claims his extensive travel to the volcanic tropical forest in Sulawesi, Indonesia, and his travel through this area’s humid and dense jungle equated to his “toil and trouble.”

However, in the United States anyway, a couple of problems exist in claiming copyright ownership over images created by a macaque. One such problem is that in most countries it is well established that only humans may own copyright. Further, only a creator may have copyright protection. Thus, if a macaque creates a photo, logically, no copyright exists. If animals were to own copyright one can imagine the unintended consequences. For example, if a fish rearranges the rocks at the bottom of an aquarium, and this arrangement is fixed for certain period of time, does the fish now own the copyright for this arrangement (mimicking copyright in a sculpture)? And on and on and on, this could become ludicrous.

Another barrier to Slater owning copyright to these macaque produced images is that it is long established, per the Feist case, that sweat of the brow, or Slater’s “toil and trouble” does not by itself earn copyright protection. More than just sweat of the brow is mandatory, such as some modicum of originality, and more specifically some modicum of originality created from a human not a macaque.

Thus, most copyright attorneys that practice in the academic industry see this story as a perfect example as to why the public domain exists, and why sometimes many creations have no owners. When an item technically does not belong to anyone, this is not a bad thing. It is actually very positive. Think of all of the creative endeavors that could result from these macaque selfies, or from other alleged animal creations (fish rearranging rocks). However, many IP attorneys outside of the academy are supporting Slater’s claim that he is entitled to the copyright of these macaque produced images.

One other aspect to keep in mind is that the images were created in Indonesia, thus Indonesian law applies.  It will be interesting to see whether this case progresses in the courts, and the possible judicial outcomes.

Digitized Book Images and Macaque Copyright Ownership

Historic Copyright Friendly Book Images

Kalev Leetaru recently uploaded to Flickr 2.6 million fully-tagged images and drawings from various books. This endeavor is part of the Internet Archive Organization’s scanning process. Since each image is tagged, users can efficiently search for and locate images using simple keyword searches. Leetaru hopes this digital archive will serve as a historical archive that will serve those needing images. Hopefully, others will follow in uploading images that can be freely utilized by others. One option I might encourage others to include when uploading such images is to include a Creative Commons license on these items so that any doubt of subsequent use is assuaged.

 

Macaque Selfie

Most everyone read or heard about the Celebes crested macaque in Sulawesi, Indonesia taking selfies with David Slater’s camera. Now, a legal dispute exists to determine who owns the photos created by the macaques, and not by Slater. Slater of course claims that his “toil and trouble” lead to the creation of these photos, and thus he advocates it does not matter that he did not actually create the photos (he did not press the button on the camera that lead to the creation of the photo, the macaques pressed the button). In essence, Slater claims his extensive travel to the volcanic tropical forest in Sulawesi, Indonesia, and his travel through this area’s humid and dense jungle equated to his “toil and trouble.”

However, in the United States anyway, a couple of problems exist in claiming copyright ownership over images created by a macaque. One such problem is that in most countries it is well established that only humans may own copyright. Further, only a creator may have copyright protection. Thus, if a macaque creates a photo, logically, no copyright exists. If animals were to own copyright one can imagine the unintended consequences. For example, if a fish rearranges the rocks at the bottom of an aquarium, and this arrangement is fixed for certain period of time, does the fish now own the copyright for this arrangement (mimicking copyright in a sculpture)? And on and on and on, this could become ludicrous.

Another barrier to Slater owning copyright to these macaque produced images is that it is long established, per the Feist case, that sweat of the brow, or Slater’s “toil and trouble” does not by itself earn copyright protection. More than just sweat of the brow is mandatory, such as some modicum of originality, and more specifically some modicum of originality created from a human not a macaque.

Thus, most copyright attorneys that practice in the academic industry see this story as a perfect example as to why the public domain exists, and why sometimes many creations have no owners. When an item technically does not belong to anyone, this is not a bad thing. It is actually very positive. Think of all of the creative endeavors that could result from these macaque selfies, or from other alleged animal creations (fish rearranging rocks). However, many IP attorneys outside of the academy are supporting Slater’s claim that he is entitled to the copyright of these macaque produced images.

One other aspect to keep in mind is that the images were created in Indonesia, thus Indonesian law applies.  It will be interesting to see whether this case progresses in the courts, and the possible judicial outcomes.