Teens’ photo feed is a viral hit – and a copyright conundrum


A popular Twitter account run by two teenagers publishes historical photos of everything from mall rats to John Lennon sniffing Coke. The feed is delighting a million people but also raises familiar questions of how, in an age of ubiquitous images, to define artistic ownership and attribution: a solution may lie in a fresh approach to calculating copyright.

In case you’re unfamiliar, the Twitter account is called @HistoryInPics, and was the subject of a though-provoking article last week by Alex Madrigal. He explained how a 17-year-old from Australia and a 19-year-old from Hawaii attracted a swarm of followers to the account, including celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Jack Dorsey, in just six months with photos such as Marilyn Monroe’s military ID:

Marilyn Monroe

And this old Russian couple who have reportedly been married for 65 years:

Russian couple

The photos in the Twitter stream are a clever summary of culture and history…

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