Ah, the humble animated GIF. We use them on social media or in text messages as a way to signify a reaction, tell a story, or just to have a laugh. Some are even making animated GIFs of entire movies!
It's not all fun and games though — organizations and media companies are cracking down on animated GIF usage, with some going as far as issuing copyright notices against animated GIF creators. Even the IOC, the governing body of the Olympic Games, banned news organizations from creating animated GIFs of sports coverage from the Rio 2016 Summer Games. Are animated GIF creators protected under fair use, or are these organizations not being fair?
This week on Function, we unpack this issue with Kenyatta Cheese and T. Kyle McMahon. Kenyatta, a long-time Internet historian and co-creator of Know Your Meme, talks about the history of the GIF format and how animated GIFs are a fundamental part of memes and Internet culture as a whole. Later, we talk to T. Kyle about his website RealityTVGIFs, his thoughts on how animated GIFs have influenced modern television, and why these images aren't going away any time soon.