Selfies are the theme!
Today’s legal question: Why is a corporation considered to be a person by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Citizens United Case (See Washington Examiner article) even though a monkey is not allowed to copyright his selfie? I guess I could get crazy and also ask why the PaMunkey Indian Tribe can own a casino! (Richmond.com)
Did you see this story about Naruto? (Yahoo Story) Yes, I know…crazy that we even know his name!
Who would have thought that a monkey would be involved in a copyright lawsuit? It’s obvious that he doesn’t have good lobbyists working for him.
It all started when a judge ruled that a monkey does not have the right to own a selfie. Then on appeal, three judges unanimously upheld a lower court ruling and dismissed the original lawsuit that had been brought by PETA. (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). The picture was taken by using a UK-based photographer’s camera. Apparently, the monkey walked up… and pressed the button.
Then in 2015, PETA filed suit on behalf of the monkey against wildlife photographer David Slater, seeking financial control of the now-famous selfie of the grinning monkey in the picture above.
The Appellate Court seems irritated with having to decide this case. Here’s what the opinion said, “We must determine whether a monkey may sue humans, corporations, and companies for damages and injunctive relief arising from claims of copyright infringement”. Judge Carlos Bea continued, “We conclude that this monkey — and all animals, since they are not human — lacks statutory standing under the Copyright Act.”
Then, they sent the case back to the lower court… to determine what attorney fees that PETA owes the photographer’s attorney. I wonder if they will ask the monkey to help bear that burden. This whole story makes me “paws” (see what I did there?) and wonder… what would cause an organization to think that monkeys should have financial rights? Come on!
And finally for pic o’ day, this has nothing to do with the blog but it truly makes me laugh!