Patently obvious: Stephen Colbert ridicules Amazon patent for using photography gear as designed


posted Monday, May 19, 2014 at 4:40 PM EDT


Last week, we told you about a patent from online shopping behemoth, which has photographers up in arms -- and understandably so.

What Amazon has patented is, essentially, the idea of using photography gear just as it was designed to be used. Sure, a very specific camera and gear setup is described, but it's not exactly an unusual setup. In fact, if you own a few lights and a cyclorama background, you've almost certainly used much the same technique yourself, as have many of your fellow photographers over the decades. The idea that Amazon has been allowed to patent it is more than a little bewildering.

Stephen Colbert ridicules Amazon's photography patent on last Wednesday's episode of The Colbert Report.

And that's clearly not lost on comedian Stephen Colbert, who introduced the story to a wider audience last week, courtesy of his popular late-night talk show, The Colbert Report.

"Amazon now has legal ownership of the idea of displaying a thing," Colbert told Comedy Central viewers, before mocking the deliberately opaque language used to describe Amazon's "invention." Watch the clip above for more -- including Colbert's plans to file for a junk patent of his very own -- and see more from the show on the Colbert Nation website.

(via The Phoblographer)