from the monkey'ing-around dept.
About six years ago photographrapher David Slater was taking pictures of monkeys and got a monkey to take a selfie with his equipment. The case has been in and out of court over copyright issues because while it was Slater's equipment and he set up the situation some claim that it is the monkey who holds copyright over the image while others claim that no one at all has copyright over the image. A serious attempt is being made to use the case to push for copyright and other ownership rights for non-humans. The image is now being use to try to force the issue of non-human rights, using methods that might do a lot of damage along the way.
Ars Technica is about the only site to notice so far. They write that the case is no laughing matter. PETA's quest for animals to own property could end the web as we know it. Specifically this image has become relevant to the future of the WWW and the Internet because the strategy chosen involves first asserting that companies that supply tools for people to self-publish their own works can be held liable for the content posted or uploaded by third parties.
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People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and wildlife photographer David Slater have reached a settlement over the ownership of a photograph taken by an Indonesian macaque monkey named Naruto:
PETA; photographer David Slater; his company, Wildlife Personalities, Ltd.; and self-publishing platform Blurb, Inc., have reached a settlement of the "monkey selfie" litigation. As a part of the arrangement, Slater has agreed to donate 25 percent of any future revenue derived from using or selling the monkey selfies to charities that protect the habitat of Naruto and other crested macaques in Indonesia.
According to a joint statement, "PETA and David Slater agree that this case raises important, cutting-edge issues about expanding legal rights for nonhuman animals, a goal that they both support, and they will continue their respective work to achieve this goal."
General Counsel for PETA Jeff Kerr told the New York Times that he did not know how much money Slater made on the photos in the past, but also that PETA is glad Naruto will benefit from the images in the future.
A federal judge previously dismissed the case, but PETA appealed. PETA has dropped its appeal so the question of nonhuman ownership of "intellectual property" will not be answered by a higher court.
Also at Ars Technica.
Previously: Monkey Selfie Case May Undo Evolution of the Web