OK, folks, your wisdom is needed.
I got an email from Sheril Kirshenbaum asking me to promote a blog post in which she asks for pictures that might be used to illustrate her upcoming book on kissing. I had planned to help her out, and in fact, here I am doing that right now: Please look at this post and consider sending Sheril some pics. Be nice about it. No porn please.
(cc me anything you are not sure of and I'll tell you if it is porn or not.)
Now, DrugMonkey has chimed in and made an interesting comment that I think should be taken into consideration (by Sheril). He points out, in this post, that kissy-kissy pics of cutsie animals is scientifically inaccurate (because by and large animals don't 'kiss') and it just perpetuates the human-like cutosity of these animals, lighting a fire under the animal liberation and rights people who want to go and blow up animal research scientists (or support those who do).
I would add to this conundrum that animal conservations benefits, for better or worse, with cutsy pictures, though not necessarily cutesy kissy-kissy pictures.
Which means, that this all comes down to a matter of Framing Conflict (FC) between animal-based research interests and conservation interests.
In my opinion, DrugMonkey may be right in that it would be inappropriate for Sheril to use kissy-kissy bears or doggie in her book. I would add that such photos would be appropriate if she is using them to illustrate the fact that humans impart our own attributes on other animals, incorrectly and often inappropriately, and that kissing is one area we do that often.
One mammal's kiss is another mammal's slobbering on the flesh before chewing on it, I always say.
What do you think?
Obviously, we need to send her a picture of PZ kissing a cracker.
I think any photographers who send pics should be aware that they won't be compensated for commercial use of their photos, at least as I read her post.
As I just wrote at DrugMonkey's place, I was very disappointed to read his post.
Considering he has no notion of the context with which photographs will be used--not to mention the book isn't even complete yet--calling me 'incredibly stupid' in a public forum is uncalled for. It is also a particularly surprising move considering he has criticized others for passing ill-informed opinions in the past.
That said, thanks for posting the request Greg.
Sheril, he didn't call you stupid, he called your action stupid - and from the way you worded your post its certainly not clear that you are going to use the images in a context other than as "intriguing pictures of kissing and cuddling".
Perhaps you should be a little clearer in your stated intentions for the pictures and in what contexts you intend to use them?
I agree that we do tend to falsely humanise critters, especially when they're being cute. Still, other animals do have some behavioural traits in common with us.
I'd be interested in knowing if humans are the only apes that do any smooching.
People who study wolves say entire packs engage in kissing sessions before going out on a hunt. It furthers bonding and they share germs and consequent immunities.
But does the earth move?
I'll have to admit the photo of fawns had me thinking "steak and ribs" but my bowhunting days are long over; it's so much more convenient to get my animal carcass from the butcher. I honestly can't look at them and not think "food".
I used to try to frame my dog for the missing homework. No pictures, though. I got pawprints once, but it still didn't work.
Not that I hold grudges or anything... but that last round from the not-quite-all-that-honest Colgate twins has left a long lasting bad taste in my mouth... just can't work up any good will to help. And as it happens... I am a photographer.
From Sheril's post:
"Have you ever taken a picture of bears nuzzling in the field or kissing fish? "
I've only seen solitary brown bears (aka 'grizzlies'). I've never seen 'em in the wild kissing fish, but I do remember bears in cartoons kissing fish.
I wonder why Sheril doesn't seem to be doing the usual thing which is to go to stock houses and library archives; it seems a far more productive thing to do than to take the chance that some blog readers would (1) have excellent photos and (2) be willing to hand them over for nothing.
[OT] I don't know if DrugMonkey called Sheril stupid; I haven't read his blog, although Sigmund  says DrugMonkey wrote no such thing. Sheril and Chris Mooney do get called names on PZ's blog and I have gotten tired of playing mama and asking folks to kindly drop the name-calling. Then again if people call me names I usually engage in nickname escalation; it makes me feel young again - like 5 years old.
Sheril, I agree, as usual, that the style of presentation was inappropriate. Especially given the lack of understanding of the context.
But as usual if you dig deep there is a point to be made, which is the anthropomorphizing issue. Which, as I say, is also at odds with other interests in using animal images for one reason or another. I'm sure you have it under control!
Good points by madscientist and stephanie z... support your local photog Sheril, go buy some pics!
mk, I don't necessarily have a problem with people deciding to give pics for publicity instead of cash. I just think it's an arrangement that should be very clear up front. Transparency is a good thing.
Likewise Stephanie. If somebody wants to see their name in a "big time" publication and isn't going to sweat the money thing... more power to them. (Though, they should know, it's not terribly helpful to the profession at large!)
However, the photographer in me does cringe a bit when I see people fishing around (apparently) for freebies. There are plenty of options for buying relatively inexpensive photos for your book, or whatever. And if not stock, then make a small offering to anyone who might want to contribute. It's the right thing to do.
Ugh. Iâd hate to see cutsie pictures of fish locking lips which is clearly territorial/dominance behavior. I know I shouldnât judge their use beforehand but this book is coming from someone going ga-ga over kissing with the enthusiasm of a tween.
i for one do not want to see "ooo, cute animals 'kiss'!" pics, but perhaps her intent will end up to be illustrating "these things remind of of human kissing behavior visually, but in actuality they couldn't be more different....." who knows. and i vote for paying for photos.
now on to the important question, is that cat "killing" a figurine of steve irwin, already posed in a spot of difficulty, desperately needing terri to jump on the reptile too?
@John Swindle #5"
"I'd be interested in knowing if humans are the only apes that do any smooching."
Bonobos and chimpanzees kiss. Bonobos even tongue-kiss: Frans de Waal tells a story about a (male) zookeeper who accepted a kiss from a male bonobo and was taken aback when the ape thrust his tongue in his mouth! (The zookeep was familiar only with chimps, whose kisses are comparatively chaste.)
poor steve irwin, first south park (too soon? the devil himself queries, and at his very own "super-sweet-sixteen!"), and now this...
JK, i'm laughing w/that kitty (but laughing at all us anthropomorphizing homo sapiens, steve was a loud voice for getting the kids interested in all those reptiles out there, he deserves that credit, i kinda loved him a lot for just that).
i (mostly) enjoy your blog very much ;) keep on blogging. (that's today's "rebel yell"....)
Speaking of framing, I find the close juxtaposition of this post and the carnal relations with goats post more than a little disturbing. You gently lead us into the subject of affection and animals and -- BOOM -- goat fuckery!!!! I need to go wash my brain out with aged single malt.
BOOM -- goat fuckery!!!!
I've been looking for a new sig.
Aren't most animal 'kisses' actually investigation sniffs.
I find this post terribly disturbing, since it comes from someone who (pretty reliably up to now) has held to the "science" or "scientific method" line. Here, Greg makes good on what seems to be an ill-conceived economic promise (to hell with the science!) to urge others to add economic, not necessarily scientific value, to a book being written by a fellow blogger merely because she is a fellow blogger.
Greg has asked for our wisdom. He should have done that before pre-promoting the book.
He should have thought more (much more, IMO) about the freebie and copyright implications of his (Greg's) request. What exactly is the deal he (or Sheril) propose? Will contributors "see their name in lights?" (i.e., be given credit in Sheril's book, or will they simply be thanked and then "kissed off." (Couldn't resist.) If given credit, will it be in large type right below the picture or will it be buried in end notes? Will Sheril or her publisher assert their exclusive copyright on the pictures, thus putatively preventing the actual photographer from ever using the picture again unless Sheril's publisher agrees? Does Greg endorse, via this post, a stance by Sheril's publisher that "all pictures submitted because I (Greg) asked you to submit them will become the property of Sheril's publisher, whether used in the book or not?"
And what's with the porn restriction? Is there a scientific definition of porn that Greg knows? When Greg in his infinite discernment (like Oliver Wendell Homes, the Justice â or was it Felix Frankfurter?) says that he knows porn when he sees it, is he applying to Bonobos the same standards that he would apply to 14-year old humans? The same to 14-year-old humans in the USA and in the Congo? The same to 18-year-old humans in either place?
And by urging his readers to submit potentially pornographic pictures (some of which will presumably be actually pornographic) to Greg over the internet, isn't he coming dangerously close to internet crime, if not actually comitting one?
In short (too late for that now!) this is an incredibly poorly thought-out post from one who is usually not guilty of such lapses.
Finally, IANAL, though I'd surely consult one before letting Greg or Sheril get their claws into my pictures.
PoxyHowzes, don't get carried away on the pictures. Under U.S. law, the copyright holder has to specifically grant rights to someone else. Any rights not granted are reserved. "All rights reserved" is stated all over the place because plenty of people don't know this, not because it isn't automatically true.
Poxy: You had me going there, for a second.
Stephanie Z.: Your effort shows (if that were necessary) that it is impossible to summarize U.S. Copyright law in 3 sentences.
If I comply with Greg's request to send Sheril a picture of my neighbor's dog kissing my cat's a$$, what rights have I retained, what rights have I given up? Why isn't Sheril or Greg entitled to treat my submission as a "work made for hire?" (for example.) Sheril should do the honorable thing and communicate the conditions under which she will use (on the one hand) and not use (on the other) pictures she gets.
@ Greg: How is cc me anything you are not sure of and I'll tell you if it is porn or not." not a request for readers to send you pictures are at least borderline pornographic? Are you ready to defend criminal lawsuits on the basis that your opinion governs the legal definition of pornography? Are you qualified as an expert witness on this subject in any US jurisdiction? Or do you, as I suggested/inquired earlier, assert a scientific definition of "pornography," animal or human. Remember the saying: "The Internet â where men are men, and women are men, and children are government agents."
You're right. I summed it up in one. Sheril's publisher will require her to have signed releases granting her the rights to use all the photos in her book.
If I comply with Greg's request to send Sheril a picture of my neighbor's dog kissing my cat's
I asked you to consider her request. And, freely comment here on it, as you've done. And I should add that one of my first thoughts on reading her email to me was "well, photographers want to get paid" and all that. But really, this is between Sheril and anyone who might contribute (or sell) photographs.
Just thought I'd point that out.
Anyway, if you have your own photographs for which you have copyright you would be foolish to give up the copyright or to let them be used without attribution. There is a way this normally works. I would assume the normal way of working would apply here. See Stephanie's note about what the publishers will require. She is correct.
How is cc me anything you are not sure of and I'll tell you if it is porn or not." not a request for readers to send you pictures are at least borderline pornographic?
OK, so sorry, I blew you off before because I thought you were pulling my leg. But apparently not. Please do not send me any photographs!!! (I think most people got the joke..)
Oh, and when I say "pulling my leg" that's a metaphor ... oh, never mind.
Stephanie Z: Exactly! Anyone who submits photos to Greg or to Sheril is in fact "contributing" (in some sense) to Sheril's publisher. (And, qvetching, you did not summarize copyright law, you summarized the real-world consequences of copyright law among those (publishers) who now know and ever will know more about copyright law than any of us here.)
If you applaud PLoS, why, without a contract, would you ever send a photo to Greg or to Sheril, knowing that the only one who can benefit it Sheril's publisher?
If you applaud PLoS, why, without a contract, would you ever send a photo to Greg or to Sheril,
Again, I'm not asking for photographs.
As far as the OpenAccess model goes, however, I have to say this: I do applaud the PLoS model for the publication of academic research. I do not, however, think that trade or mass market books should be published that way. If someone wants to, fine, but I do not advocate that as the primary model at all.
Poxy, which part of "signed release" are you not getting? Back way the hell down on the paranoia.
Just as a calm, idle, laid back comment in passing, what advantage is it to you, or what advantage do you imagine it is to other readers for me to "back way the hell down" on what you may or may not correctly characterize as "the paranoia?"
The words "signed release" first appeared on this thread in your comment #26. Before that, way early in the thread at #2, you opined:
I think any photographers who send pics should be aware that they won't be compensated for commercial use of their photos, at least as I read her [Sheril's] post.
In response to your first use of the words "signed release," I suggested that Sheril should actually post the terms of that release. Your comment at #2 above indicates that you don't know what those terms are, and they suggest that Sheril is not communicating them.
The first defense of any paranoic, AFIK, is "but they really are coming after me!"
I don't think I've ever suggested in this thread that They're coming after me. I've suggested, as have other posters including you and mk that if you want to retain control over your intellectual property, you should find out what the terms of compensation are before you post your intellectual work on the internet.
Greg (@ #29)
VERY interesting distinction between scientific papers and "trade or mass market" books! Should be the topic of many another thread. Starting with whether there are other usefully distinguishable categories than "scientific" papers and "trade" and "mass market" books!
(And I assume that if Sheril is publishing a trade or mass market book, she doesn't need any special treatment from the readers of science blogs? (I.e., the contribution without compensation of kissy photos?)
PoxyHowzes: You really are an enigma.
In response to your first use of the words "signed release," I suggested that Sheril should actually post the terms of that release.
Is there some comment of yours that got caught in moderation for links? You don't say anything like that in the one I can see.
The reason to back down in the paranoia is that there is a big difference between asking Sheril whether a picture is what she's looking for and what kind of terms she's offering and signing a release. And no one is being asked to post anything on the internet (where they still retain all the rights to it, by the way). Sheril isn't even allowing comments on the post.
There are honestly people out there so afraid someone is going to steal their work that they won't let anyone who might publish it even see that. You're not going to help with your suggestions that Sheril is scheming to deprive people of their copyright. My only complaint with her post is that people might waste their time and get their hopes up by assuming she's paying, only to find out in corresponding with her that she's not. She didn't do anything wrong; she just could have done it better.
If you want to get into my interests, I'd actually be better off if everyone were that paranoid. My husband is a photographer, and anything that drives competition down would be good for him. I'm not helping by explaining how this works.
Yeah, but does he have pictures of kissing monkeys!?!?!?
I haven't asked. He doesn't need to work for free.
I'm sure she would pay HIM. His photos tend to be sort of stunning.
The thing is that pictures are not pictures. (as you know) Just because everyone has a camera (or three or four) does not mean that everybody has a picture good enough to go into an actual professionally published book, and those who do are likely to be pros. I don't hold out a lot of hope for Sheril getting very many print-quality pics. Maybe something for a side-show on her blog, which actually might be appropriate and might work well.
Stephanie Z: Are we now homing in on it? The universe from whom Sheril is soliciting pictures is those who must "work" for "free"? (Scare quotes mine.)
And what I actually said was: "Sheril should do the honorable thing and communicate the conditions under which she will use (on the one hand) and not use (on the other) pictures she gets."
I grant you that that is not saying precisely, exactly the same thing as: "Sheril should actually post the terms of that release..." But I hope that you will grant that if Sheril did the latter, she would go a long way toward satisfying the former.
Greg: getting back to my favorite topic (JOKE!), whether or not you solicited it (and good luck with that argument, pal, with the US prosecutor) why would Sheril eschew porn? In a trade or mass market book, she has much more leeway (in the US) to publish porn than she has on the intertubes, and arguably more marketing moxie. One could argue (well, you'd have to give me an hour or so) that one couldn't properly treat the subject of scientific kissing without venturing across the borders of porn, and that therefore, the book would be deficient without some decent attention to porn.
All of that begs the question, of course, of whether pornography (or even kissing) is possible without humans being involved. I look forward to Sheril's photographically illustrated enlightenment.
Greg at #33 "...you really are an enigma."
I think, sir, that you do me too great an honor too soon.
I would happily start out with the honorific: "a riddle," hoping by dint of cogent argument (or not) to progress to the next stage: "wrapped in a mystery." From there, with suitable (or not) florescence of my forensic skills, I might aspire betimes (or not) to achieve that great, that honor-Laden eminence, that Winstonian encomium: "inside an enigma."
Poxy, you're a bleeding genius. Please tell me how you posted comment #25 in response to comment #26.
And for fuck's sake, porn is not illegal. Stop talking as though it were.
Stephanie Z: "Poxy, you're a bleeding genius. Please tell me how you posted comment #25 in response to comment #26."
Mere genius will not do it. One must be endowed with extratemporality. (or is that "uberzeit"?)
And for fuck's sake, porn is not illegal. Stop talking as though it were.
Granted. So why did Greg/Sheril make such a big deal of it? As I noted, Sheril's upcoming book will arguably be deficient without a treatment of kissing in porn and a treatment of of animal kissing.
Also, fucking /= porn except among a very restricted (I hope) segment of the populace. So, "and for chastity's sake, porn is not illegal..." either.
That is, you could have made your point without the four-letter expletive. I think in any case that porn is more often associated not with f**king, but rather with solitary masturbating. Maybe you should more accurately have said "For wank's sake..."
But ask someone you know who is a photographer whether there are any more restrictions to posting on the internet (1) a picture of two ten-year-olds dressed in cutsey dutch costumes kissing each other or (2) a picture of the same two ten-year-olds fully nude kissing each other. Would Greg have been justified in suggesting that the one type of picture, but not the other, be posted to Sheril and himself? But not justified in calling it porn?
Very restricted? Why the fuck are you worried about other people's sex lives? And why are you equating porn with child porn, which is an issue of exploitation of the subject; i.e., in a class with statutory rape?
Granted. So why did Greg/Sheril make such a big deal of it?
We have merged as a single entity, Sheril and me!
I don't think my alter ego, Sheril said a thing. I mad a very low key joke. Such a big deal we did not make, individually or collectively.
Greg and Stephanie:
This discussion has come to the point where more heat than light is being generated. Stephanie says fucking porn is not illegal and then chastises me for an example of non-fucking porn that clearly is illegal.
Greg uses my construction "Greg/Sheril" to imply that I think they're siamese twins ("merged as a single entity," he says) when the construction would more normally be interpreted as I intended: "Greg AND/OR Sheril." And indeed, neither the original post nor anything subsequent indicates whether Greg has accurately interpreted what it is that Sheril wants except for pictures of grizzlys kissing fish.
I love to strike sparks, and I enjoy being warm, but I'd be much happier if genuine discussion continued in a forum where riposte was not the medium of exchange.
Of the topics I've engaged today, the following seem to me interesting enough to warrant further discussion here on this blog or elsewhere. No particular order, despite the numbering.
1) Is there // should there be a difference between the PLoS model of open publishing for scientific papers, and the model of "closed," if you will, publishing of "trade" and "mass market" books.
2) Indeed, does there exist any "long form" publishing on scientific topics â other than the PhD thesis â than is *not* "trade" or "mass market." Why not?
3) Is there animal kissing? For what purpose (is it part of their foreplay?) How did it evolve. etc. etc.) (I can await Sheril's book on this topic.)
4) Is there animal pornography? As distinguished from animal behaviour that is interpreted by humans as pornographic? Can/do animals other than humans "see" behavior by others of their species as "sexy."
5) If one is (or twos are, etc.) a scientist publishing a scientific work, and one asks generally for contributions to that work, what does one owe the contributors? How much of what one owes must be made explicit "up front?" How, if at all, has the internet changed this? Where, if at all, is the code of conduct available to potential contributors? Where, in a nutshell, does plagiarism begin and end?
Greg â I have been required to post my e-mail addy on each of my posts today, including this one. You have my permission (1) to contact me privately via that e-mail, and (2) To provide that e-mail addy to Stephanie Zahn so that she may privately contact me.
neither the original post nor anything subsequent indicates whether Greg has accurately interpreted what it is that Sheril wants except for pictures of grizzlys kissing fish.
Actually, I didn't read her post. I got an email from a fellow blogger and helped her out. That was just before the merger. This is called "linking" and perhaps "pointing" ... I leave it to you and everyone else to decide if you want to send her photos. You know, free will and all.
Is there // should there be a difference between the PLoS model of open publishing for scientific papers, and the model of "closed," if you will, publishing of "trade" and "mass market" books.
Well, there IS a difference. With the PLoS model, the author pays for the distribution of the work. This is not cheap but affordable because there is grant money to cover that cost for many, they give you a break if you don't have the grant, and it is entirely on line.
For trade and mass market books, the books are printed at a printer and distributed throughout meatland, either via UPS/Postal from Amazon or someplace, or via a bookstore. The reader pays for the book. Only by having each reader pay a smallish amount could such an operation be afforded.
I'm not quite sure how else you are going to fund the writing, production, and distribution of books. I'd be interested to hear, though.
Indeed, does there exist any "long form" publishing on scientific topics â other than the PhD thesis â than is *not* "trade" or "mass market." Why not?
Yes, they're called monographs or academic books, depending. Sheril's book is not one of those. Acamemic books are usually WAY more expensive than trade or mass market because there is no economy of scale at all (very few are printed).
There is definitely room for a PLoS like model for this kind of publication. Off hand I don't know of any, but there should be something out there somewhere. Only a tiny percentage of academic work (in terms of numbers of words written) is published in this form in the sciences.
Is there animal kissing? For what purpose (is it part of their foreplay?) How did it evolve. etc. etc.) (I can await Sheril's book on this topic.)
I don't know what sheril says, but I can tell you a couple of things: First, "kissing" in humans is not one thing, so the question "is there animal kissing" is automaticaly problematic.
Second, no, unless you define poking with the nose as kissing regardless of its function, not much kissing. But there is a lip-using kissy thing that captive and zoo chimps and bonobos do, and I believe wild chimps do in some groups, but I don't know bout bonobos. This is a frienship/bonding/social tension reducing thing, it seems I don't know if anyhting we would call kissing in chimps/bonobos is related to intercourse. Sexuality in chimps and bonobos is actually very different than in humans, so it would surprise me a great deal.
Is there animal pornography? As distinguished from animal behaviour that is interpreted by humans as pornographic? Can/do animals other than humans "see" behavior by others of their species as "sexy."
Well, I've heard that sex-tapes are shown to pandas but I don't know if it 'worked' or just amused them.
Question number 5 is kinda big. I believe Sheril's book is a trade book, not an academic book.
I can tell you that I once loaned someone a photo and it ended up as the front cover of an academic book accredited to her because he publisher (Oxford University) press fucked up. When they came out with the paper edition of the book they were supposed to change the attribution of the photo but they failed to do so. For this reason, next time Oxford University Press asks me for a favor they won't be getting it. Well, actually, I've had the opportunity already to do that but I have not forgiven them yet so I'm likely to do it again.
Gee, thanks Greg.
Terse, dismissive, pontificating, know-nothing, know-everything, "answers" way down the comment trail. No opening of new threads, no inviting of comments from others (including experts). That's fair, I suppose â why, on your blog, should we want or expect opinions other than yours? (Coturnix's, for example on "open" versus "closed" publishing.)
I deserve nothing more, I suppose, being merely a long-time lurker. But not raising important questions simply because the one who raises them is no one you know is very unscientific and unscholarly IMHO.
And OMG! You didn't even read Sheril's "original" post (as you refer to it) before making your "original" post (as I refer to it?) And you pretended all day that you did? OMG!
Terse, dismissive, pontificating, know-nothing, know-everything, "answers" way down the comment trail.
Well, what do you expect when you phrase your questions that way?
Poxy, if you want a blog run for you, run your own.
PoxyHowzesTerse, dismissive, pontificating, know-nothing, know-everything, "answers" way down the comment trail. No opening of new threads, no inviting of comments from others (including experts).
Holy crap! I gave quick and short preliminary responses to a large number of questions. That was in no way dismissive. Did you actually think you were giving me a list of new blog posts to write? And yes, when I write something in response to something, it is my opinion. I can't believe you expected me to solicit other opinions and report them to you!!!
And no, I pretended nothing. As I've said numerous times, I'm simply passing on a request from a fellow blogger. The email she sent me was descriptive of her post, and that information was all I needed.
Seriously, I thought that was a great group of questions, and that is why I spent the time bothering to produce a few sentences in answer to each of them. I quite consciously made the decision to do that instead of something else.
I think you are probably a nice person and you seem fairly smart, etc. but you need to make some adjustments in regards to what you think this bloggy internety thing is and how it works.