The Weekly Wrap: Freelance & Creative News

Vice Media lawsuit. A monkey wins photography royalty rights. And, new tools, including text-to-podcast.

Grafitti Artists Win Lawsuit for $6.7 Million

The U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, NY awarded $6.7 million to 21 graffiti artists whose work was whitewashed.

In the 1990s, Jerry Wolkoff allowed graffiti artist to display their work on a vacant building he owned. But, in 2013, when Wolkoff decided to demolish the building, he had the artwork whitewashed one night, wiping out artwork that was decades old.

The art was loved by the community and is known worldwide, reported NPR.

“Had the appropriate notice been provided, they [the artists] could have taken steps to remove the art from the building, they could have taken steps to have better photographed and videotaped the art, they could have preserved the art,” the artists’ lawyer, Eric Baum, told WNYC.

Monkey Receives Royalty Rights

A U.S. Appeals Court awarded Naruto, a crested macaque monkey, partial copyright and royalty rights for a selfie.

In 2011, during a trip to a nature reserve in Indonesia, UK-based freelance photographer David J. Slater, set up a camera on a tripod and the monkeys snapped pictures. Slater published a selfie taken by Naruto in his book Wildlife Personalities.

Initially, the U.S. District Court in San Francisco ruled animals are not covered by copyright law. But People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, aka PETA, got involved. And voila, Naruto gets rights and a 25% royalty, reported Light Stalking.

So, if you want to make Naruto a baller, and help fund The Weekly Wrap, click the pic and get the book.

Vice Media Sued For Discrimination

Vice Media is facing a gender discrimination lawsuit. Former employee Elizabeth Rose filed it, alleging the company paid women less than men.

According to the lawsuit, Rose discovered a male subordinate that she hired earned about $25,000 more a year than her. After digging further into the matter, she found her situation wasn’t an isolated case, reported Los Angeles Times.

She’s reportedly seeking class-action status, which will allow other women to recover damages too if the company is found guilty.

How thoughtful!

YouTube Won’t Drop Logan Paul…Yet

Despite the controversy, Logan Paul will not lose his YouTube channel, which has over 16.5 million subscribers.

Things the 23-year-old has done to upset people recently include shocking a rat with a Taser, joking about ingesting Tide Pods on Twitter and filming himself with the corpse of a suicide victim in Japan, reported USA Today.

Critics want YouTube to take action, but CEO Susan Wojcicki said the company “wants to be consistent.”

We can’t just be pulling people off of our platform,” she said at the CodeMedia conference.

Logan’s infractions have earned him two strikes. Wojcicki said any account that gets three strikes will be terminated. No exceptions.

Did You Know: YouTube is one of the Ways To Make Money While You Sleep

But Make No Mistake, People Are Getting Cut…

Vanity Fair and Glamour Ax Old Staff

If you had contacts at Vanity Fair or Glamour, they may be gone. Both magazines have a new editor-in-chief, and both have cut old staff members.

At Vanity Fair, Managing Editor Chris Garrett, deputy editors Aimee Bell and Dana Brown, Editor-at-Large Cullen Murphy and Features Editor Jane Sarkin were pink-slipped along with assistants and researchers, reported New York Post.

At Glamour, as of yesterday, about five cuts were made, including creative director Paul Ritter and model-booker Richard Blandino.

Barnes & Noble Lays Off 1,800

On Monday, Barnes & Noble laid off 1,800 people. That number consists of all the full-time staff at 781 stores, according to TechCrunch.

According to a Tumblr post by a former B&N employee, the company dropped all head cashiers, receiving managers, digital leads, newsstand leads, and bargain leads.

The layoffs are projected to save the company $40 million.

In my opinion, (which wasn’t published in TechCrunch), this is more than just a run-of-the-mill cost-saving measure. It’s a red flag for Barnes & Noble.

Bookstore Sales Decline In 2017

Bookstore sales fell to $10.7 billion in 2017, down from $11.14 billion in 2016. That’s a 3.6% drop, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The weak results are due to declining sales in the second half of the year. In the first half of 2017, bookstore sales were outpaced sales in the first half of 2016, says Publishers Weekly.

Create Podcasts with Amazon Polly For WordPress

Amazon Polly, a service that turns text into lifelike speech, is available as a WordPress plug-in, Website Magazine reported.

That means you can publish podcasts directly from your site. Since Amazon Polly is available in a variety of languages, you can also customize your content for international audiences.

Find out more here.

Google Launched AMP Stories

Google is offering a new and improved way to bring content to your audience. It’s called Amp Stories, and it’s in the same vein as Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories, combining text, images, videos, and graphics, says AdWeek.

It’s reportedly geared toward mobile but also adapts to the desktop. And, it’s available to all publishers.

Currently, it Amp Stores doesn’t support ads but Google is working on it. And when that’s up and running, Google plans to allow publishers to keep 100% of the revenue.

Here’s a tutorial. Here’s the code.

Microsoft And LinkedIn Launch Resume Assistant

Resume Assistant is a Word-integrated tool that helps you write your resume using features such as skill suggestions and work experience descriptions. It gathers wording from LinkedIn profiles and real job descriptions.

It’s available to Microsoft Office 365 subscribers, and you don’t need a LinkedIn account, says Quartz. But, if you are a LinkedIn user, you can also use tool to begin the process of connecting with relevant jobs.

Here’s a YouTube video explaining the concept.

Facebook Testing Downvote Button

Facebook is testing a downvote button. It isn’t a dislike button, says iDrop News. It’s a way for users to flag public comments or posts that are irrelevant to the topic, misleading or inappropriate.

The function is only available to a fraction of U.S. Facebook users, and there’s no word when it will roll out to everyone else.

Mark Your Calendar:

February 27:

Jesse J. Holland, author of Black Panther: Who Is The Black Panther will appear at a National Press Club Headliners Book event in Washington DC at 6:30.

It will include a discussion, audience Q&A, and book signing. Tickets are $10 or $5 for National Press Club members. Get them here.

March 3 – September 3:

Denver Museum of Nature & Science will exhibit authentic Dead Sea Scrolls, which includes the oldest known Biblical documents dating back over 2,000 years.

April 16-22:

Pen America’s World Voices Festival will go down in New York. This is an international literary festival established in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. This year’s theme is Resist & Reimagine. Here’s info about the festival’s events and tickets.

What’s New:

The Reel, a podcast about the entertainment industry launched. It’s created by the Los Angeles Times and available on Apple Podcasts

We Blog the World, an online travel magazine, relaunched with a focus on “transformative travel,” which is “the intersection of wellness, spirituality, and luxury travel.”

WBTW now has four sections dedicated to wellness and six to spirituality, including a section with insights from holistic practitioners, spiritual teachers, authors, leaders, and speakers.

NY’s Hotel Chantelle is joining the roster of coworking locations included in KettleSpace’s coworking passport. The hotel’s garden rooftop has been recreated into an airy workspace with bottomless coffee, tea, snacks, Wi-Fi and abundant outlets.

The KettleSpace passport is $89 a month and includes unlimited access to six NYC locations.


African-American history author Lerone Bennett Jr. died at 89.

He chronicled the civil rights movement and wrote books, such as What Manner of Man, a Biography of Martin Luther King, Jr., Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America, and The Shaping of Black America.

Bennett also served as editor of Ebony and is described by CEO Linda Rice as “the guiding light for the [magazine’s] editorial vision,” reported NBC Chicago.

Strands of George Washington’s hair were found in an almanac from 1793.

The book was on the shelf in Union College’s library in upstate Schenectady, reported New York Post.

So, if you get bored this weekend, perhaps you can spice up your life looking through old books. You may find hair, nail clippings, or god knows what that belongs to god knows who.

Til next week!

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