By Richard Stobbe
The Monkey Selfie Caper apparently has legs, as they say in the news business. Long legs with opposable toes. (For background, see our earlier post: Monkey See, Monkey Do… However Monkey Does Not Enjoy Copyright Protection )
On September 21, PETA announced that it had filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in U.S. federal court in San Francisco. PETA is suing “the owner of the camera, photographer David J. Slater and his company, Wildlife Personalities Ltd., which both claim copyright ownership of the photos that Naruto indisputably took. Also named as a defendant is the San Francisco–based publishing company Blurb, Inc., which published a collection of Slater’s photographs, including two selfies taken by Naruto. The lawsuit seeks to have Naruto declared the “author” and owner of his photograph. … U.S. copyright law doesn’t prohibit an animal from owning a copyright, and since Naruto took the photo, he owns the copyright, as any human would.”
Yes, you heard that right, the crested macaque is the plaintiff in a copyright infringement lawsuit. April 1st is still 5 months away, but with luck the federal court will have ruled on some preliminary motions by then.
Calgary – 07:00 MT1 comment