Some sanity in San Francisco.
A macaque monkey who took a now-famous selfie photograph cannot be declared the copyright owner of the photos, a federal judge said Wednesday.
Though it was only limited sanity.
U.S. District Judge William Orrick seemed to recognize the potential for animal copyright. He said in a tentative ruling in federal court in San Francisco that ``while Congress and the president can extend the protection of law to animals as well as humans, there is no indication that they did so in the Copyright Act.''
The lawsuit filed last year by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sought a court order allowing PETA to represent the monkey and let it to administer all proceeds from the photos for the benefit of the monkey, which it identified as 6-year-old Naruto, and other crested macaques living in a reserve on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
The photos were taken during a 2011 trip to Sulawesi with an unattended camera owned by British nature photographer David Slater, who asked the court to dismiss the case. Slater says the British copyright obtained for the photos by his company, Wildlife Personalities Ltd., should be honored worldwide.
The first point is, of course, who says PETA should be representing the monkey?
As Murray Rothbard put it:
There is, in fact, rough justice in the common quip that "we will recognize the rights of animals whenever they petition for them."
Second, like it or not, and I do like it, humans rule the planet. Dogs don't have us walking around on leashes.
Any "creations" of a non-human animal should belong to the owner of the equipment used by such animal. Unless, of course, the owner of the equipment granted the owner of the animal, if the animal is owned, use of the equipment, then the creation, depending on the agreement between the two humans, could become the property of the animal owner.
Second, "creations" of any kind by unowned animals that are discovered become the property of the human discoverer (unless discovered on the property of another human.)
These general rules should apply to both organic and non-organic creations.
The eggs of a chicken belong to the chicken owner. The milk of a cow belongs to the cow owner.
(Source: NBC New York)