You probably remember the curious story about the monky selfie I’ve reported about here and here in August last year? Just to refresh your memory in case you don’t, back in 2011 a macaque female snatched a camera owned by nature photographer David Slater and snapped several selfies with it. Since the photos weren’t taken by the photographer and no copyright law in the world recognizes animals as authors/creators, Wikipedia’s parent company Wikimedia had declared them public domain and added them to its commons database. Subsequently Slater said in various interviews, that he was going to drag Wikimedia to court, but before that could happen US Copyright Office released Compendium of US Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition – a 1222-page document, in which, among other things, it made a comment on this particular issue. On page 54 of the document it is stated that the Copyright Office will not register photos made by animals, plants, gods or supernatural beings. 😉
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
© Naruto (taken with David Slater‘s camera)
As Associated Press now reports, the animal rights group PETA is sueing Slater on behalft of the macaque female called „Naruto“, which has captured the selfies in question. PETA argues that „Naruto“ is the legal copyright owner and is demanding that all licence fees be used for its benefit.
Should PETA end up winning, which seems highly unlikely, it could change US Copyright law completely.
What do you make of PETA’s arguments and this contraversial case? 🙂