back to article Monkey selfie case settles for a quarter of future royalties

The curious case of the monkey that took a selfie and was denied copyright for its efforts has come to an end, with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and photographer David Slater agreeing on a future stream of royalty payments to simian charities. The case kicked off in 2011 when Slater left a camera within …

  1. corestore

    I fscking loathe PETA

    This case for starters - but perhaps more importantly, this entire fscking thread:

    https://twitter.com/BootstrapCook/status/905791298334023680

    1. Mark 65 Silver badge

      Re: I fscking loathe PETA

      In this case I can find them to be nothing but vexatious c*nts.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I fscking loathe PETA

      I just hope one day a scientist proves that carrots and broccoli etc. can feel pain, that'll finish the nasty animal murderers off.

      If it was me I would have said I'll give 25% anyway but get Peta to call the monkey to court as a witness just to shut them up and stop them bringing future cases.

      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/17/peta-sorry-for-taking-girls-dog-putting-it-down

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: I fscking loathe PETA

        "get Peta to call the monkey to court as a witness just to shut them up and stop them bringing future cases."

        Seconded. Without this they would appear to have no standing. Why did the court even deign to take the case? Publicity for the court?

        1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Doctor Syntax

          Prosecutor: Explain in your words the events of the day leading up to the photograph?

          Naruto the Monkey: Ooh, ooh ooh, ooh, aah, aah, aah!

          Defense: He's presenting his case!

          Prosecutor: Your honour! The defendant is throwing turds!

          Defense: He's pleading insanity!

          Judge: I'm going to allow this.

          Prosecutor: No more questions, Your Honour.

          1. jgarbo

            Re: Doctor Syntax

            Forget the syntax. The monkey's a thief. He didn't ask permission to use the camera, so he has no rights to the photos. Did he sign a release for that selfie? Cannot be used commercially. Court adjourned.

            1. Colonist-in-IT

              Re: Doctor Syntax

              Forget signing "a release for that selfie".

              How the heck did Naruto sign all those selfies sold on Slater's website?

              Was his signature consistent throughout?

              Could a Signature Expert, recognized by the Court, verify authenticity without a doubt?

              Were they signed in poop?

        2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: Standing

          Standing has to be decided by the court. The court decided that PETA lacked standing (more than once). PETA appealed repeatedly until David Slater ran out of money. PETA's version of ethics is very different from mine.

      2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: AC

        Vegetables can indeed feel pain. Haven't you ever hit a vegan with a pack of bacon?

        Icon seemed appropriate for the delicious salty pain...

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: AC

          Wait a minute, Tigra ... I thought bacon WAS a vegetable!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: AC

            It's one of my five a day.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: AC

              Ethical treatment. Ethical. Who's ethics?

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: AC

            "Wait a minute, Tigra ... I thought bacon WAS a vegetable!"

            Well, it *was*, once upon a time. Then it got eaten by a pig and metabolised into baconny goodness.

        2. Tigra 07 Silver badge

          Re: Tigra/myself

          Uh oh...Someone took offence...There's a vegan among us...

          Get the pitchforks and sausage batons!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Tigra/myself

            A vegan you say. Stand back. I'll handle this as I speak vegan fluently. ME ME ME ME ME ME ME. ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME? ME ME ME ME ME.

            Sorted.

      3. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: I fscking loathe PETA

        I just hope one day a scientist proves that carrots and broccoli etc. can feel pain, that'll finish the nasty animal murderers off.

        They sort of can, they at least respond to stress, e.g. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4831116/ which raises awkward questions about where you draw the line. Though those questions never really go away if you're willing to recognise certain animals, such as the higher primates, as worthy of better treatment than, say, nematode worms. Of course you could attempt to become a fruitarian instead.

    3. blcollier

      Re: I fscking loathe PETA

      PETA are not an animal rights organisation, and El Reg should not be acknowledging them as such.

      An organisation that kills over 90% of the animals it "rescues" cannot in anyone's mind be called an "animal rights" organisation.

      An organisation that abducts and euthanises domestic pets cannot in anyone's mind be called an "animal rights" organisation.

      This case does raise some interesting philosophical questions about animal rights (although what the hell use does the monkey have for royalties), but PETA are a hate group plain and simple.

      1. Gio Ciampa

        Re: I fscking loathe PETA

        So should the "ET" part stand for "Eventual Termination"?

        1. Stig2k

          Optional

          Perhaps - People for the Enthusiastic Termination of Animals ?

        2. Captain DaFt

          Re: I fscking loathe PETA

          People Exterminating Terrorfied Animals

        3. Tikimon Silver badge

          Re: I fscking loathe PETA

          People Eating Tasty Animals

  2. Chris G Silver badge

    Ook!

    I am undecided on the issue.

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Ook!

      The librarian concurs

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's an infinite number of monkeys at the door

    claiming for their 25% royalties on the Complete Works of Shakespeare.

    1. corestore

      Re: There's an infinite number of monkeys at the door

      Paging Mr. Hilbert! Mr. Hilbert to the front desk urgently!

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: There's an infinite number of monkeys at the door

        "Paging Mr. Hilbert! Mr. Hilbert to the front desk urgently!"

        I could have sworn he was in this room yesterday. Have you checked the one next to it?

        1. ibmalone Silver badge

          Re: There's an infinite number of monkeys at the door

          Can do, but have to deal with this coach party first.

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: There's an infinite number of monkeys at the door

      OK so £finite / infinite = zero, so give each of them zero...

  4. jake Silver badge

    During the meanwhile ...

    ... how much did the lawyers for both sides bank, protracting the run of this obvious stupidity through the court system for five plus years?

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: During the meanwhile ...

      That's why Slater has made this deal. PETA's bully tactics and court case was ruining him. Money obtained by duress rather than morality or law.

      1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: During the meanwhile ...

        It would be best if PETA were found to be a vexatious litigant and we could end this nonsense universally.

  5. Mad Mike

    Interesting principles behind this

    Although I hate PETA with a passion and a lot of what they stand for, there are interesting principles at play here.

    What is it that makes creatures have rights and the law apply to them? Is it their level of intelligence? Is it that they're human? What feature makes the law and its protections apply to a creature? To many the answer may seem simple, but it raises rather dubious principles.

    For instance. If the answer is intelligence, I bet there are higher primates out there that are far more intelligent than some people. Does this mean we should strip those people of the protections etc. of the law, or should we give the protections to the primates? Doubt anyone would go for this.

    Alternatively, could it be that the protections of the law applies to humans only. Now, this raises an interesting principle because it suggests that differences in DNA (species) is the deciding factor. Now, how much difference in DNA is enough to justify applying/denying the law to you? Bearing in mind there are lots of genetic differences in races etc. within humans, does this not suggest this principle could be used to justify racism? After all, there are specific DNA differences between people of different races. Why should these differences not be enough to justify applying/denying the law to them, just as the differences between human and primate DNA are enough if this principle holds? It becomes very much a question of judgement and opinion on how big the difference has to be. I'm not suer anybody wants to go down this rabbit hole, least of all me.

    So, I sit here wondering on what basis do we apply/deny the law to creatures and I can't really find an answer that works when subjected to deep analysis. Yes, I can come up with some high level generic answers like it only applies to humans, but as explained above, that has implications. Why not apply it to all sentient creates? Why not to anything that can feel pain? At the moment, the way it works seems to simply rest on human beings arrogance and believing we should be counted separate from nature, even though nature created us (unless you believe in creationism) and we are therefore 'natural'.

    1. Triggerfish

      Re: Interesting principles behind this

      I feel that whilst we should offer some rights and protections, conservation etc. It's probably going to far to think they should be getting royalties and setting them up with a bank account. Admittedly if said monkey does want to have a shop at Bloomingdales then fair enough. But it's pretty unlikely. The photographer was giving 10% of proceeds to a sanctuary which seems a fair compromise even though IMO the opinion that the photo is his really,

    2. goldcd

      Re: Interesting principles behind this

      The starting point is my cat. It's a cat. It fights other cats at will and kills anything it can catch for its own amusement.

      That's the starting point. Animals can do whatever they want.

      Next we have people. We have laws. These laws apply to us people only. We made them up and live by them.

      Now these cover how we relate to each other and also to how we treat animals. You might not like them, you might want to change these, but these are human laws.

      Once we start trying cats for murder, then we can argue over their intellectual property - but until then..

      DNA bit is a bit of a red-herring - most of it. We share 60% of ours with a banana.

      Most of it sits there and doesn't do much.

      1. Mad Mike

        Re: Interesting principles behind this

        @goldcd

        "Once we start trying cats for murder, then we can argue over their intellectual property - but until then.."

        An interesting point, but we sort of do, but not with cats. Take a bear or lion for instance. If one killed a human, it wasn't uncommon to hunt it down and kill it. Now, is this not effectively finding it guilty of killing a human (murder) and then exacting a punishment (death row) just like if it was a human being?

        "DNA bit is a bit of a red-herring - most of it. We share 60% of ours with a banana."

        It's not a red herring as it's all about degrees. It doesn't matter if it's 60% or 99.9% commonality. Who or what decides that 99.9% the same DNA as a 'standard' human being gives rights to the law, whilst 99.8% does not or whatever the figures are.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: Interesting principles behind this

          "Now, is this not effectively finding it guilty of killing a human (murder) and then exacting a punishment (death row) just like if it was a human being?"

          No. It's more akin to redesigning a bad junction, callous as that sounds. There's no trial, no jury, etc. Instead it's a safety issue: there's a threat to human safety and that threat is removed.

          1. Mad Mike

            Re: Interesting principles behind this

            @DavCrav

            "No. It's more akin to redesigning a bad junction, callous as that sounds. There's no trial, no jury, etc. Instead it's a safety issue: there's a threat to human safety and that threat is removed."

            Mmmm. Depending on the issue in human world, there isn't necessarily a trial and jury. Was Osama Bin Laden brought before a court, found guilty and sentenced to death? Executive actions often have no trial or jury. So, maybe killing one of these animals is simply an executive action?

            1. DavCrav Silver badge

              Re: Interesting principles behind this

              "Was Osama Bin Laden brought before a court, found guilty and sentenced to death? Executive actions often have no trial or jury. So, maybe killing one of these animals is simply an executive action?"

              Killing Osama bin Laden was almost certainly a crime. That doesn't mean people don't feel happy about it, and doesn't mean anyone will be tried for it, but it's a crime in the sense that it's against the law. And before you say "when the President does it, that makes it legal", it might have been legal under US law, but I very much doubt it was under Pakistani law. Or international law, such that it is.

        2. Tigra 07 Silver badge

          Re: Interesting principles behind this

          DNA bit is a bit of a red-herring - most of it. We share 60% of ours with a banana

          There was a time when the people with mashed bananas for brains were laughed at and left to beg in the streets...Then we started electing them to parliament and things went to shit...

        3. Triggerfish

          Re: Interesting principles behind this

          An interesting point, but we sort of do, but not with cats. Take a bear or lion for instance. If one killed a human, it wasn't uncommon to hunt it down and kill it. Now, is this not effectively finding it guilty of killing a human (murder) and then exacting a punishment (death row) just like if it was a human being?

          No because we are not really taking them to trial and asking them to defend their actions. Killing something like a maneater is an act of self defence. I wouldn't feel it was murder for it to hunt or eat us, it's an animal doing its thing that's become a problem because its found humans are easy targets.

          Edit

          I think the act of murder takes more consciousness than that.

          Also that's attributing a lot of intelligence to a lot of the animals that become problems for us like bears or big cats and sharks. If I was going to choose an animal that I might think would do an act of murder it would be something closer to an elephant and even then more than likely it's acting for some other reason.

        4. JimC Silver badge

          Re: Now, is this not effectively finding it guilty ... punishment.

          I submit not.

          More like a combination of selective breeding and removing a specific dangerous individual. Punishment also has an element of deterrence which does not apply.

      2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Interesting principles behind this

        The starting point is my cat. It's a cat. It fights other cats at will and kills anything it can catch for its own amusement.

        My cats do that too. But I still reckon if they were given the vote they'd do a better job than approx 17 million 'humans' on the electoral roll.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Interesting principles behind this

      "What is it that makes creatures have rights and the law apply to them?"

      Back this up a little.

      What is it that makes humans have rights?

      Simple: it's a convention we adopt amongst ourselves to make human society work better. Rights are a description of human behaviour

      Can this apply to other species?

      Some species are social, some aren't. Those that are have their own behaviours some of which are vastly different to humans. Start going down PETA's route and you end up trying to apply modern slavery legislation to worker bees.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Interesting principles behind this

        Animals can, and do, make their own rules about how they interact with each other.

      2. Paul Ellis

        Re: Interesting principles behind this

        Sanity. Thank you.

    4. jake Silver badge

      Re: Interesting principles behind this

      I got yer "interesting principle" right 'ere: Get back to me when the monkey (dog, cat, elephant, orca, whatever) asks for their royalties. Until then, the argument is kind of pointless.

      1. Mad Mike

        Re: Interesting principles behind this

        @jake

        "I got yer "interesting principle" right 'ere: Get back to me when the monkey (dog, cat, elephant, orca, whatever) asks for their royalties. Until then, the argument is kind of pointless."

        I specifically didn't bring royalties into this and broadened it to the law in general. Royalties is just one part of the law and people get the whole law, but don't need to use it all. Plenty of people won't use the royalties part. How do you know it hasn't asked for royalties. You're making the assumption that because you can't understand it's speech (animals have languages and communicate in them, so effectively speech) doesn't mean it hasn't. Are you saying just because they can't speak english, it doesn't apply. Think where you're going with this. Take it to conclusion and you end up in an interesting place.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Interesting principles behind this

          Mike, get back to me when the animal can make the point you just made for itself. Until then, you're babbling about what-ifs piled upon what-ifs. "Turtles all the way down" isn't a valid argument.

          1. Mad Mike

            Re: Interesting principles behind this

            @jake

            "Mike, get back to me when the animal can make the point you just made for itself. Until then, you're babbling about what-ifs piled upon what-ifs. "Turtles all the way down" isn't a valid argument."

            You're admirably showing the arrogance that pervades human beings and will ultimately be our undoing. You're assuming because they don't use the same language as you, it doesn't count, which is silly. I'm sure if you were to ask them, they would say the same in reverse. We know from many studies that adminals are far more intelligent (obviously depends to some extent on which one) than perviously thought and also create their own societies, langauges, rules and behaviours. Exactly the same as humans. The fact we don't understand their communications (as in what each grunt or whatever means.....although this is beginning to change) doesn't change this.

            It wasn't that long ago that people were going around saying humans were so much better than animals, as animals don't use tools, but that has been comprehensively trashed now, with many species using and even creating tools. Again, particularly true of primates and the like. Why should we deny them things because we don't understand them? If that's the case, we're going to be in real trouble if aliens ever reach this planet. They'll be classified as animals by your definition and denied everything. Difference is, their probable technological superiority would probably make the result less to our liking!!

            1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

              Re: Interesting principles behind this

              Tool use and the making of tools is not limited to primates. There's ravens and cockatoos that'd trash that separation.

            2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

              Re: Interesting principles behind this

              Mike - rights imply duties from those protected by them*. Animals cannot comprehend, therefore cannot fulfil, duties commensurate with the rights groups like PETA want them to have. Thus, any talk of rights is nonsense. Animals do have interests, though, which humans might have a duty to observe.

              * Don't get me started on the nonsense about children having rights before they are capable of understanding the concept.

    5. jgarbo

      Re: Interesting principles behind this

      Very nice point of law. Now go for a swim in North Australia and debate law with the next Saltie or Bull Shark you meet.

      "I'm also a an animal, so we can share these resources for our mutual benefit. What do you say?"

      "Gulp"...

      These idiots don't get it. Daniel can't lie down with the lion. Unless the lion has just eaten a zebra. Otherwise Dan's the entree.

      1. Mad Mike

        Re: Interesting principles behind this

        @jgarbo

        "Very nice point of law. Now go for a swim in North Australia and debate law with the next Saltie or Bull Shark you meet."

        I guess if you could discuss things with a shark, they would consider the seas and oceans their equivalent to a farm and therefore eating a human swimming there is just the same as taking a cow from a farm to slaughter and then eating it. They cut out the middleman a bit, but same principle.

        1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          Re: Interesting principles behind this

          The farm analogy is misplaced. Sharks don't farm they hunt so it's closer to shooting Bambi in a meadow than taking a cow from a farm. Hiring a butcher to cut it up is entirely optional so no middleman necessary. Of course I don't think sharks actually hunt humans it's a more opportunistic behavior than specifically trying to track down the ungainly poor swimming stick figure that likely doesn't taste very good to a shark seeing as we lack the blubber of a seal. Of course we could equally be a delicacy or acquired taste.

          That said, I don't see how a shark would even entertain the notion of a farm or even a meadow as it is quite impossible for it to visit one let alone comprehend any similarity or equivalence to their environment. To a shark the entire land masses are likely likely little more than holes in the ocean where it's really hard to breathe and best ignored other than those tasty morsels that sometimes wander about on the fringe. That isn't to say sharks are stupid; indeed they are very smart at figuring out how to do what they want to do and very clearly learn new techniques but I don't see why they would devote any brain power to wondering what the world is like outside their own universe when the task of surviving the day is potentially so daunting.

    6. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Re: Interesting principles behind this

      There's a world of difference between animal welfare, conservatism and environmentalism (which are all generally laudable) than the full on animal rights guff.

      Yes, it's a nice philosophical point from the comfort of an enormously wealthy* perspective. No-one who has gone hungry for days at a time would ever consider the whole "animal is person" as a possible concept. Certainly no-one who has had to care for stock or use them as beast of burden. Animal is property is labor is food. Human is labor is not food.

      Humans are bound by the law, and afforded much protection with it. Animals are not, and have weaker protections. Far too many humans are not, in practise, defended by the law, so it seems a better use of time to deal with these issues rather than those of animals.

      There are still slaves in this world. In both the literal and figurative (poverty wages) sense. Worrying that a monkey in a nature reserve might not be getting it's full cut of royalties seems less important than rust bucket trawlers sinking in order to keep the price of fish down.

      *globally and historically. Mainly in terms of energy rather than shiny coins

    7. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Interesting principles behind this

      Animals do have rights, and have had for many years, but they're not the same rights as humans.In some cases animals are given a right to have their habitat protected. They have the right not to be ill-treated and neglected. People have been prosecuted for cruelty to animals for centuries, even when they're on the way to market and the dinner table. Abattoirs kill animals, but it must be quickly, cleanly and painlessly. <tangential and unconnected thought>hmmmm....politiicans....</thought>

  6. ukgnome Silver badge

    The thing about ethical treatment is that it has to be everyones ethics and not just PETA.

    Judging on some of their campaigns I doubt they fall under ethical, and are possibly not even people.

    Their latest BS of Dairy products causes autism is offensive.

    These unscientific idiots should piss off!

    1. blcollier

      That campaign is actually nearly 10 years old. It first appeared in 2008; they were ordered by a court to take down billboards with the poster, but the article remains on their site to this day.

      It's not new, but that doesn't detract from their overall lunacy.

      1. ukgnome Silver badge

        I didn't realise it was that old - it popped up on my Facebook feed and naturally assumed they were on tilt again. They really boil my piss.

        Although they do provide some gems, like asking Games Workshop to change the war orc (or whatever) as it had a pelt collar. FFS

        1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          @ukgnome

          They really boil my piss.

          Second Bruce: That's a strange expression, Bruce.

          First Bruce: Well Bruce, I heard the Prime Minister use it. 'They really boil my piss, your Majesty,' he said and she smiled quietly to herself.

          Third Bruce: She's a good Sheila Bruce, and not at all stuck up.

      2. Not That Andrew

        It popped up again because one of their spokesmen made some disturbingly similar comments about autism.

  7. nickx89

    Don't get it why

    "monkey that took a selfie and was denied copyright for its efforts has come to an end." I never thought it would be such a big thing! Don't they have any other stuff to do?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Don't get it why

      " Don't they have any other stuff to do?"

      Too much.

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Don't get it why

        " Don't they have any other stuff to do?"

        They usually spend their days swinging from trees and ripping window wipers off at the safari park...Oh, you meant PETA?

        1. Colonist-in-IT

          Re: Don't get it why

          tirgra 07, you made my day with your comment ! thanks

  8. Tuesday Is Soylent Green Day

    People Extorting Toonies for Apes

    I leave now, eh?

    1. Alistair Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: People Extorting Toonies for Apes

      @ TISGD

      Upvoted, even if its only from another canuck

  9. Chris 125

    Sadly, now this case is "over" they'll have time and money to spend on some other ridiculous attention-seeking case, designed to raise awareness of PETA only. They're bullies, they hide behind cute fluffy animals (often with a stun gun to bump them off when they're no longer needed) knowing full well you'd be branded a heartless monster if you took them to task for their actions. "But.... but.... look at it's eyes! It's so cute! Now abandon your legal business model selling animal products otherwise we'll trash the place"

    Last month, they campaigned for the new Dr Who to be vegan as they felt that it is a more suitable stance for the Dr to take on the environment. I really hope they're staffed entirely by volunteers as if someone was paid to come up with that rubbish, the world is an unjust place.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      The Doctor is a Gallifreyan, not a Vegan. He did defend the Vegans against a cyberman attack once, though.

      EDIT.

      He? Sorry. It. Got to get it right now they've changed it all. Like how to pronounce Ickier.

      1. VinceH Silver badge
        Alien

        "The Doctor is a Gallifreyan, not a Vegan. He did defend the Vegans against a cyberman attack once, though."

        Don't be silly - everyone knows the Vegans were a race in Star Trek.

      2. TRT Silver badge

        Sorry, they were Vogans. Vegans were also a race of mining creatures, but they were in The Monster of Peladon, which was nothing to do with Cybermen.

        1. VinceH Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Watch the linked clip.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The ONLY thing this entire fiasco raises,

    is questions about PETA, their funding, their ability to pursue clearly pointless lawsuits and how the fuck they kill more animals than KFC, Macdonalds etc combined* yet claim to be "ethical". Bullshit.

    *metaphorically.

  11. katrinab Silver badge

    I don't understand

    Even if the monkey did own the copyright, what evidence is there that it assigned the copyright to PETA to litigate on its behalf?

    1. Mad Mike

      Re: I don't understand

      Absolutely none. PETA have arrogantly decided they speak for all animals....non-human ones that is. Another example of mankinds arrogance towards other species and nature in general.

    2. Triggerfish

      Re: I don't understand

      That's a good point is there a power of attorney letter with Naruto scrawled on it somewhere? If not aren't they infringing the monkeys rights by involving it in a lawsuit it was unaware of? Has anyone sat down with the monkey and explained possible liability issues? Has it got a tax advisor and accountant set up for the profits? PETA seem pretty reckless to me about this poor monkey and its freedom.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: katrinab

      If a chimp can be elected to the Presidency then he can certainly own a copyright...

    4. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      Re: I don't understand

      Defendant should have claimed the copyright belongs to his skin mites and is licenced to him

    5. Colonist-in-IT

      Re: I don't understand

      that brings up a good point.

      Who owns the copyright for that book of Shakespearean poetry written by that roomful of one-thousand typewriting monkeys ?

  12. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I see a simple solution

    Postpone this important legal case a few million years until a monkey has evolved enough to present their case.

    1. Mad Mike

      Re: I see a simple solution

      @Tigra 07.

      "Postpone this important legal case a few million years until a monkey has evolved enough to present their case."

      That was what they said a few million years ago!! We're the evolved monkeys!!

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

        Re: I see a simple solution

        Was that the fight over who owned the copyright of a cave painting created by a monkey?

    2. ssharwood

      Re: I see a simple solution

      Or until the super intelligent monkey from the labs gets out and starts an ape army ...

  13. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Better late than never...

    If you really think about it this case then the ramifications are huge.

    A loss for the monkey could invalidate Trump's presidency.

  14. PatientOne

    One thing of interest: PETA claim the monkey was Naruto (a female in the group), but the photographer claimed it was a (different) male monkey who took the picture.

    Now, PETA wasn't there so how the hell would they know which monkey it was, where as the photographer was there so would have a much better idea.

    Also, the photographer claimed (successfully) that he'd spent time gaining the trust of the group, resulting in one of them taking the picture. So yes, he does have a valid claim to rights over the image. His paying 25% of profits to an animal charity *of his choice* isn't a loss for him, either - it'll be tax deductable, and he's now got legal rights over the image so can start chasing people for fees for their, now illegal, use of that picture.

    If he's really fussed about it, that is. Or he could give the rights away, just to snub PETA. His choice - not theirs.

    1. Triggerfish

      The way I see it is this.

      1. They are real buggers to be around they are unpredictable, I have had them sit quietly near me taking pictures and then have them rush past to attack a bunch of people behind me that somehow offended them. They are pretty damn strong even smaller ones can ruin your day, they attack in groups, they have pretty good teeth, some have real big incisors. Giving your camera to one is a risk if it takes it you probably are not getting it back and they like thieving. He probably did a fair bit of work to get to the point the animal did that. He paid money to get out there and do it with the aim of getting those shots in mind.

      2. Its a monkey for ffs.

  15. Tigra 07 Silver badge

    This story really is comedy gold...

    Your honour! I Demand trial by combat! And I want to eat the claimant afterwards!

    If I lose then make something heroic up for my family...

    1. Colonist-in-IT

      Re: This story really is comedy gold...

      you did it again! thanks! I'm now with tears.

  16. Petasux

    This makes me angry.....

    Bully tactics under the guise of ethics. Irony lost on them obviously.

    Mine's the fur coat......

  17. Petasux

    Bullying is what is is.

    I'm off to buy a fur coat!

  18. Huw D

    I'm a member of PETA

    People Eating Tasty Animals. Right?

  19. James Hughes 1

    What's quite annoying is that the picture is better than almost every one of the 12k pictures I have taken over the last 20 years.

    Oh, that and the fact the PETA get even more press.

  20. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Slater doesn't own the copyright either. If he does, he shouldn't. US copyright law requires the creator be human, and the monkey took the photo, for all that it was Slater's equipment. Therefore public domain.

    Nothing wrong with Slater making money from the photo, he just doesn't get a US-government-sanctioned monopoly. PETA doesn't have any legal right to Slater's profits, but there's no reason they can't sell copies too. Public domain, after all.

    At this point, the only people making money from this photo are the damned lawyers that Slater and PETA are paying. They'd both make more money if they'd just STFU and roll with it. First rule of holes, guys.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Animals and copyright

      so by your argument, if I setup an IR sensor to trigger if say a Fox goes through the IR Beam and causes a picture is taken, then the Fox owns the copyright?

      Oh, the fox that triggered my last picture is probably dead by now because it was years ago. So who owns it then?

      Do you see the fault in your logic?

      The US Judge did and because it was his kit and he setup the shot he owns the copyright.

    2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      > Slater doesn't own the copyright either. If he does, he shouldn't. US copyright law requires the creator be human, and the monkey took the photo, for all that it was Slater's equipment. Therefore public domain.

      You are wrong. Copyright law does require the copyright holder to be a human, but says nothing about 'the creator'. There is an element of agency in the copyright law, and also one of 'work for hire'. If you work for a company as a cameraman then the film or photos you take, no matter how creative you are, are not yours, they belong to the company. Even if your employment is not directly that of a photographer and you are asked to use a company camera to take a photo then you are acting as an agent and the ownership of the copyright goes to the person or organization that owns the media (film or SD card).

      Do you think that if you are on a street and ask a stranger to take a photo of you and your friends that he could sue you if you put the photo on facebook ?

      The answer is no because the stranger is acting as an unpaid agent. In this case the monkey was an unpaid and voluntary agent, the copyright ownership goes to the owner of the media.

    3. Triggerfish

      By that logic half the work the BBC wildlife group does is copyright free. Camera traps etc, all triggered by the animals themselves.

  21. mediabeing

    How is this agreement enforced??

  22. Colonist-in-IT

    Repulsed by adjective 'nonhuman'

    I have not read the 90+ comments already posted in response to this article, but I will. I would like to post my immediate thoughts now, while they are still fresh in my mind and my emotional state is at a peak of repulsion.

    I can only assume most of the 90+ comments are in the scope of societal rights for animals and the activist people that passionately support these self imposed rights. I have nothing to say on the efforts of PETA and other organizations who selflessly seek to carry out our (all peoples) God given responsibility to care for all His creatures.

    The thing that blows my mind is the novel use of the adjective "nonhuman" with the word "animal" !

    It seems to imply that 'Humans' are 'animals'. We are NOT!

    I fear the coupling of these two words marks the beginning of a 'blurred' boundary between Man and the rest of God's creations. When we (all people) accept the needless construction of words to convey a literal distinction, we must use great caution. Even more so, when the chosen construction can be grammatically correct, therefore more easily accepted as 'truth'. This "acceptance" grows stronger as time goes on until, what was harmlessly accepted in context, is harmfully accepted alongside other slightly related 'Lies'.

    Case in point - The acceptance of the word "gender" as a replacement for the word "sex". The word 'gender' was accepted in society probably because people were offended by the immoral "gutter-minded' thought implied by the word "sex" (verb, not noun). Which, by the way is an incorrect connotation of the word 'sex'. Sex (verb, not noun) is a beautiful act of procreation, between two people (not animals) of the opposite 'sex' (noun, not verb), male and female. The word 'gender' has its origin in the word 'genus' from biological genes that define the specific boundary between male and female. Today we accept the word 'gender' as a blurred non-specific personal definition that any person is free to choose based on his/her 'feelings'. Today, society accepts a biological male to qualify his 'gender' as a female and make lawful use of female restrooms, clothing, motherhood, etc. All because this male person 'feels' more feminine, despite his anatomical structure (based on his genes).

    Even though the word 'gender' truthfully should describe a person's genes, we (all people) have harmlessly accepted the incorrect use, which has resulted in a harmful application and corruption of truths.

    By the way, I like smiley monkey pictures.

    -Daniel

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Repulsed by adjective 'nonhuman'

      > It seems to imply that 'Humans' are 'animals'. We are NOT!

      Some of you might be vegetables!!!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Okay, try this...

    Short version: Humans are most definitely NOT Animals. Although basic hardware and some behaviors, cross over, the prime difference is that animals are content with existence, whilst humans generally aspire and possess the intelligence to continually improve.

    Long wall of text version:

    First, putting aside external interventions in our development which open up cans of worms that are beyond the scope. (God, Aliens, etc.)

    Accepting that we are a part of Nature, then me must also accept that we are a product of Nature.

    Therefore, we must first examine why Nature would design and create such an unusual life-form with some rather glaring design flaws that would normally prove fatal in a natural environment:

    1. Why the abnormally large head to body size ratio in infants?

    2. Why the physical configuration optimized for bipedal locomotion?

    3. Why the complete lack of insulating body hair, fangs, super strength, energy consumptive brain, etc. ?

    4. Why the overly complex DNA?

    The conditions required for the evolution of such a creature seems rather unlikely and rather difficult to put down to just random chance. Consider all the things we require to survive, what kind of conditions would lead what some people would call an "Animal" to make the leap in logic to keep itself warm during winter by killing and skinning other, better insulated animals? Let alone the knowledge required to properly preserve and tan hides, to start fires for cooking, warmth and protection. The crafting of complex tools to start fires, manufacture bows and arrows, to smelt ore and shape it into tools, to further refine said materials for greater strength and durability, entering into symbiotic relationships with other life-forms such as cattle, etc.

    You don't see any wild dogs going around doing things like this (although there may be small behavioral overlaps), and yet a pack of wild dogs with muskets would obviously enhance their ability to hunt. Preservation of uneaten meat for winter would further aid with their survival. And yet, even being as old a species as this, they have yet to develop and do something like this.

    So what exactly is the "Sacred Fire" that humans clearly have been endowed with, that animals are not? To raise animals on a pedestal above humans is clearly a foolish thing, as I have myself witnessed firsthand behavior in animals that many "humans" would condemn other humans for. (Infantcide, eating their own, killing "for fun", etc.)

    From where was this inner flame granted unto humans? As reluctant as I am to admit such a thing, pure blind, random chance cannot realistically account for such a thing. I do not subscribe to the "Gaia" hypothesis for I have no solid scientific proof, and yet I find myself arriving at the conclusion that "Nature" itself has conferred such upon humans, giving us a ridiculously high level of adaptability to most of the ecological extremes present on our planet, conferring upon us even the tools we require to direct our own evolution. But for what purpose?

    Given the noted inefficiencies of our physical forms, I cannot subscribe to the theory that we are Nature's Xenomorphs, therefore I must conclude that we presently as a species have reached a "testing" trial, one prepared for us by Nature itself: A trial of the mind and ideology, so to speak. If we can overcome it, perhaps our purpose is to become an immune / defense / beautification system for the planet and its stable life-forms? Bear in mind that while remarkably benevolent at times, Nature can also be a sociopathic psycho bitch too, so we need to be careful of pitfalls.

    As for what aliens would think of us? They would either think we "taste like chicken", be indifferent, or simply think that we are facing a trial that they themselves once experienced (and likely overcame) long ago. For all I know, they may already be here, look just like us, find us amusing, and are actually living among us holding jobs and homes. Just because they're bored. Or want to understand us better. Or whatever else aliens like doing. Like drinking our beer down at the pub.

    Man, this is some extremely deep and complex philosophical stuff thats way above my pay grade. Needs moar beer.

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