Book Review of “New Literacies: Changing Knowledge and Classroom Learning”

What is the best way to convey your expression to a far away friend or a family? In the form of words or as graphical images of cute expressive faces? The answer will be, undoubtedly, graphical images or to be more technical, ideograms. The official name for such expressive faces is emoji. Emojis have become a language of communication in the smart world now, especially among the youngsters. In one tap, an emoji sends the message your heart wants to communicate through, or rather your emotion, but that one icon may be far more powerful than an entire paragraph you type painstakingly and send. Save time and effort, and also send a message across with more impact – so does the Millionaire blueprint when talking online trading.

Emojis have come a long way from their origin, Japan to become a popular mainstream language, available in almost all tools of new generation technology for communication including android and iPhone. You are happy?? Just send a smiley with a broad smile in one tap, and the receiver gets it.

The origin of emojis

The first emoji was created in Japan in the year 1988. They were originally developed for Japanese mobile operators like Vodafone, NTT DoCoMo, and au. The majority of emojis are encoded in Unicode standard and as proprietary icons of mobile operators. There are websites like and which allow you to create your own emojis.

Legal rights

As emojis are Unicode, the users can easily create emojis of their choice without any legal obligations or copyright issues. The website has clearly stated that their emoji icons are free to be used for any digital application with a proper attribution/credit. The website gives the users a legal code as lifetime non-exclusive royalty-free license. It allows the usage, distribution, display, modification, publication and change of license of their emojis, under this code. However, the users are not permitted to illegally use or represent, endorse emojis, and use the emoji one logo.

As a copyright

Normally, all innovative drawings and graphics can be protected by copyrights and emojis are also unique graphical drawings. Though they are simple icons created by fonts, they convey ideas and have marketing value. So, just like software is protected by copyrights, emojis are also copyrighted, like the license we discussed above.

Copyrights are platform based

There are numerous platforms offering emojis, many of them having proprietary icons. This essentially means that the emojis designed by they are available for the users for applications within their platform. Usage in any external forum may be subjected to copyright violation issues. For example:

  • Chrome: emojis are Noto fonts based on Unicode 6.2, available for chrome operating system.
  • Android: Amongst the most used platforms, the style of emojis depends on the operating system and android versions, and even the applications.
  • Microsoft Windows: The emojis here are based on Segoe UI and offers full support to emojis including dedicated apps and access mode.

Some other examples include Linux, Mac, Apple iPhones (iOS), etc. Realizing the potential of emojis in applications as well as brands, their use is generally regulated by a non-profit governing body for coding called Unicode Consortium. Only those users trying for cross-platform or unconventional usage or branding need to get concerned regarding emoji copyrights. For the mass, and the app messengers, continue your mindless exploitation of the cute emojis to speak out your minds.

Martin, A (2004) Book Review of “New Literacies: Changing Knowledge and Classroom Learning”. JeLit 1(1).

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