Who Owns Selfies: Copyright Issues
I only recently took my first selfie; it was a liberating experience and I immediately shared it with my children who laughed and asked, “Really, Mom, your first selfie?” And I thought I was being so cool.
After all it was not long ago that I had become familiar with the expression selfie. And yet the new and fifth edition of the Official Scrabble Dictionary — this dictionary that rules at international Scrabble tournaments —may, in the very near future, be including the word selfie. So obviously this was a word that had been around longer than the lasting effect of a single tweet. (Again, I apologize if I am trying to be cool in this analogy.)
Ellen Degeneres’ Selfie at the Academy Awards
But I do think the intersection between the selfie and copyright hit the big time when Ellen Degeneres tweeted a selfie that got retweeted three million times. Associated Press (AP) asked Ellen for a license to use this selfie and Ellen granted the license. Why did AP ask for permission? And why did Ellen grant it? And so the online debate began. And I noted that several bloggers and newspapers were writing about ownership of this most famous selfie.
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