remember that monkey who took a selfie and then PETA claimed it owned the copyrights for that selfie? And remember that the federal court ruled that the monkey can’t be the owner of the photos? Well, you know the saying: It ain’t over till the fat monkey sings. And indeed it seems that PETA just appealed the decision in what has to be the weirdest copyright case in the history of monkeys.
Here is a short executive brief in you are new to the case (or to photographer monkeys):
- In 2011, (in the Indonesian jungles) a black macaque monkey walked up to David Slater and hijacked his camera, proceeding to take numerous amounts of selfies. With the pictures going viral, they found themselves on Wikimedia’s Commons page, where they’ve been available as public domain. The problem? When David Slater requested the pictures be taken down, Wikimedia refused – the reason being that because it was the animal pressing the shutter, the photo didn’t actually belong to him.
- US copyright office then said that animals can’t hold copyrights.
- But then PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) filed a suit in a San Francisco federal court claiming that the monkey should be recognized as the legal copyright owner, and requested permission to administer the proceeds for the benefit of the monkey and his friends.
- And lost
Sounds like a done deal, right? Wrong!
Peta are now appealing claiming that “in every practical (and definitional) sense, he [Naruto] is the ‘author’ of the works“. (Naruto is the selfie loving monkey)
PETA also claims that:
Nothing in the Copyright Act limits its application to human authors protection under the Copyright Act does not depend on the humanity of the author, but on the originality of the work itself.”
Now, on one hand the ruling should be quite interesting (especially due to its implications on Octopi and other animals), on the other hand, I must say that this looks like PETA is just seeking free publicity.
This is inline with what Mr Slater said: “It’s nothing to do with the monkey, they [Peta] just care about the promotion… They are going on the idea he [Naruto] owns the copyright, which is clearly absolutely ridiculous. They put me through the mill in California and that was thrown out, and they are continuing to spend huge amounts of donors’ money on a frivolous suit.”
[via BBC news]