What is a camera, anyway?
by William Grosso
I subscribe to, and occasionally even read, the ip mailing list (it's too big, and contains too much, to read the entire thing every day. But, when I get the time, I do read it). Last Thursday's digest had a very interesting note about a change taking place in the way people behave in bookstores.
From the "It Had to Happen Eventually" department, people are using their digital camera-equipped mobile phones to take happy snaps of images in magazines in Japan.
The BBC reports bookstores are livid that people would take photos of their pictures and send them on.
The BBC notes: The Japanese Magazine Publishers Association says the practice is "information theft" and it wants it stopped.
It is the kind of thing that most Japanese young women wouldn't think twice about doing.
They might spot a new hairstyle or a new dress in a glossy fashion magazine and they want to know what their friends think - so they take a quick snap with their mobile phone camera and send everybody a picture.
But the publishers of those magazines feel they are being cheated out of valuable sales.
I saw something similar at JavaOne-- people were using their cellphone / cameras to snap pictures of the slides. And they were sending the slides to people in other sessions / other places, and actively chatting about the slides while the talk was going on.
This is an interesting illustration of the way technology changes the way we think of things. 10 years ago, cameras were things that produced photos, which went into photo albums, which were stored in the attic to help insulate the house.
Now? Rethink that notion. Camera's aren't what they used to be. Increasingly, they're not about long term persistent storage and "saving precious memories." Instead, they're visual aids for real-time social interaction.
Do you have a cellphone camera? If so, are you using it as a visual aid for real-time social interaction. And do you have a better phrase than "visual aids for real-time social interaction"?
More inevitable changes
The situation you've read about was inevitable, and, to be honest, if you've been watching the copyright battles, long-foreseeable. As devices that allow us to record our experiences permeate our lives, there will be a battle over whether or not you are allowed to replay what you've experienced to yourself or others.
More inevitable changes
I went to a baseball game the other day and there was a licence printed in tiny type on the back of ticket. One of the things I apparently agreed to by using the ticket was not to relate any account of the game without written permission of the team or Major League Baseball.