It ain’t over till the fat monkey sings – PETA appeals that monkey should own the photo

Aug 15, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

It ain’t over till the fat monkey sings – PETA appeals that monkey should own the photo

Aug 15, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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Monkey-Selfie

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]

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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21 responses to “It ain’t over till the fat monkey sings – PETA appeals that monkey should own the photo”

  1. Baldranch Avatar
    Baldranch

    Just another example (it’s a long list) why no one takes PETA seriously.

  2. Gvido Mūrnieks Avatar
    Gvido Mūrnieks

    PETA: “…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.”
    Translation: PETA want’s the monkey to have all the money and they will be the ones who will “make shure” that the money is “well spent” for the monkey and his friends. In other words – PETA wants the money.

  3. Craig Pifer Avatar
    Craig Pifer

    It’s very obviously a work-for-hire, so the monkey can’t own it, only the photographer that hired him and provided the equipment.

    PETA needs to mind their own business and stay out of matters which don’t concern them – which is pretty much everything.

  4. TonyC Avatar
    TonyC

    No matter what good they do, this idiocy negates most of that. Makes me wish I supported them so I could stop!

    1. Sean Avatar
      Sean

      PETA does no good. They are a cult. Nothing more. They are a group of crazies. I’m all for maintaining proper treatment of animals so that they are not abused but PETA is so far over the top that they negate any semblance of that goal. I can’t wait till this is tossed out.

  5. Pete Woods Avatar
    Pete Woods

    “I must say that this looks like PETA is just seeking free publicity”
    I agree they are certainly doing it for the publicity although it is hardly free if “they are continuing to spend huge amounts of donors’ money on a frivolous suit.”
    – And what Mr. Slater said it’s “absolutely ridiculous!”

  6. Debbie Ritch Avatar
    Debbie Ritch

    I don’t have a problem with PETA but yeah, this is a bit ridiculous!

  7. Renato Murakami Avatar
    Renato Murakami

    PETA is nothing more than a religious cult… it’s too bad that in this day and age, well intended people gets suckered into their fallacy, stunts, and overall propaganda. They live and die for self-promotion, are completely sociopathic, and prowl on ignorance, innocence and good intentions. The less I hear about them, the better.

    They are on the exact same level of churches that makes poor or ignorant people give what little money they have, even going as far as putting these people in debt with some shaming strategy or something worse, but for some reason continues to exist and continues to use their dirty tactics for their own self-centered interests.

    It’s too bad that both groups (churches and ONGs) were created to promote peace, understanding and caring for others, as pillars for good social structures and as places to go when personal conflicts and troubles put your life to a stop.

    Now, all they care about is getting big, getting powerful, stealing hard earned money from people, often using tactics that goes on the complete opposite direction of their origins. It’s the complete distortion of the concept.

    You wanna protect the animals or worship your God or Gods, do it yourself or stay away from obviously megalomaniac institutions like PETA. Go after local churches and ONGs which seems to really be working for your local community, not trying to overrule court decisions while making the life of an innocent photographer like hell on Earth when he did nothing to deserve so.

  8. David Avatar
    David

    The monkey’s Uncle told me that he signed a release and gave the photographer all the rights. Plus the monkey had a non-compete clause in his last contract for that section of the jungle and didn’t want a lawsuit..go figure

  9. Arnold Avatar
    Arnold

    PETA is getting on my nerves and that is something bad.
    you should support such animal groups.. but peta is a bunch of wackos.

  10. Andy Avatar
    Andy

    The photo was taken in Indonesia – what authority do the US courts have over it??

    1. Glen Berry Avatar
      Glen Berry

      They have authority over whether the photograph can be copyrighted in the USA, and who can claim that copyright in the USA.

  11. Jordan Moorman Avatar
    Jordan Moorman

    Piss off, PETA. p.s. you suck as bread, too.

  12. Todd Roberts Avatar
    Todd Roberts

    PETA’s game is to give an animal the legal stature of a human. After they have done that once, there is precedence to do it in other situations, like the right to not be murdered. That’s why they won’t give up. It has nothing to do with copyright.

  13. Stormy Llama Avatar
    Stormy Llama

    I support Monkey gun rights, oh shit… XD

  14. Adam Frimer Avatar
    Adam Frimer

    Then monkey should also have a bank account and pay taxes

  15. Trevor Lovecross Avatar
    Trevor Lovecross

    I’m all for animal rights, but ffs! What’s next – they gonna sue every wildlife photographer that didn’t get a model release? Way to throw your credibility down the toilet, PETA.

  16. Xystren Avatar
    Xystren

    PETA – doesn’t that stand for “People Eating Tasty Animals”?

  17. Walter Lewinski Avatar
    Walter Lewinski

    Next a monkey will own land and get a drivers license…….insanity lurks all over the world…

  18. Timo Avatar
    Timo

    Oke, and the people using motion sensors…

  19. wideNCawake Avatar
    wideNCawake

    help a monkey out will ya