PETA sues photographer over monkey selfie copyright


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It seems to me that if Naruto was found to be the lawful copyright holder, it would put the images into copyright limbo. I don’t see how PETA can argue that someone else using the images is violation of a crested macaque’s copyright but their use of it is not. It’s a bit hypocritical to at once assert that a non-human primate can hold copyright, but that they can use it as they want without consent. Last I checked crested macaques aren’t usually well versed in contract law, and I don’t know of any copyright lawyer who could explain those details in a language a macaque could understand.


Is there any reason to suppose, at this stage, that PETA isn’t being managed and operated by people who are only involved in order to make animal rights advocates look bad? It genuinely seems like PETA has been hijacked by shills.


Surely nothing more than a publicity stunt which means… waitaminute


With an infinite number of lawsuits, eventually PETA ends up with the copyright to Shakespeare’s works.


PETA is just trolling, because that’s what they do. It’s like they’re the Westboro Baptist of animal rights. I feel kind of sorry for the guy, but the suit should be fairly easy to dispose of given that the copyright office itself has said works made by animals can’t be copyrighted.

But you’ve kind of got to admire PETA, in a way. For the cost of filing a lawsuit, they’ve gotten the monkey selfie case and themselves back into the minds of the public again. Relatively cheap publicity at the price. They’re not just trolls, they’re really good at it. They’re the masters of baiting people.

Yep, a bunch of master baiters, that’s PETA.


The ultimate peta smack down:

Almost enough to make you feel bad for the trolls. Almost.


This is a precedent and wasn’t thought out well. If my cellphone was sitting on the table at lunch and a friend picked it up and shot a picture of something noteworthy who owns the picture? Is hypocrisy allowable because it was a monkey or does a camera’s owner have rights to all pictures on his camera regardless? Yeah, it’s a stretch, but still a valid question.


I’m confused here - the copyright office has stated that this image can’t be copyrighted. So why does PETA have to sue if they want to use it to raise money for animal welfare? Can’t anybody use it?

Oh, wait (after reading the Reuters article)… The BB article seems to be mischaracterizing the lawsuit - they want the monkey to be awarded damages for using the image in the book (and presumably use THAT money for animal welfare), not to use the image themselves. No wonder I was so befuddled.

If your friend took the picture, your friend owns the copyright. Monkeys aren’t humans, however, and are not able to own copyright. Thus this selfie actually has no copyright protection, which makes this lawsuit fucking ridiculous (like everything that PETA does).


What if a cat stepped on the touchscreen and took a pic that after uploading went viral?


Not everything is worthy of any fucking copyright. Can we go back to copyright formalities already?

Also, this comment is hereby donated to the public domain, where it belongs.


Note to Dave Slater: As a fellow photographer, it has occurred to me that if the monkey used your camera, without your permission, you have the basis of a counter suit…BOOM!


Way to keep relevant, PETA. Lawsuits are truly the way into the public’s heart. I’m sure that crested macaque sleeps better at night knowing clicky flashy box money good.


Easy solution. Find the monkey, kill it, eat it, absorb its essence including the picture rights.

Problem solved.


Maybe Hanlon’s Razor applies here?


Except you have to eat a monkey. And how much of the monkey do you need to eat in order to absorb just it’s intellectual property “rights,” anyway?



So their idea of protecting the monkey (whose rights we have no way to even begin to explain to it) is to attack the wildlife photographer who helped get attention for it rather than using said attention to try to get funds for conservation. Well done PETA, really hit the nail on the head with this one.


As long as we’re applying human law into the animal kingdom, when is someone going to arrest that monkey for indecent exposure?


I don’t think he’ll be able to defend his copyright in court without a photo ID.