The Monkey and his Copyright

Libertarian types tend to fall into two categories: those who fanatically support copyright law (I think Ayn Rand counted among those) and those who don’t give much of a shit one way or the other, or even oppose it. Here is a case that neatly illustrates why I tend toward the second of these views:

Short version: monkey takes selfie with camera photographer had set up. PETA argues that monkey, not photographer, owns copyright to photo, and that they (PETA) are best suited to administer it. Court finds against PETA, but it costs the photographer a small fortune. However, had he not opposed the case, presumably he would no longer have had the right to use his own photo. Plus, it creates an interesting problem for researchers who set up those tripwire cameras to follow the movement of rare animals…

PETA as it is already was fairly low in my estimation of large organizations (somewhere between Scientology and ISIS, I would think). Now they have sunk even lower. Laer as slangkak op die seebodem, as the saying goes.

Anyway, in the absence of extensive copyright law, the problem would not exist in the first place.

I’m with PETA on this. Clearly the monkey has his little monkeys to worry about, so he surely needs the income from the photo to keep him and his descendents in bananas for 7000 years after he has died. It is common knowledge that monkeys and ‘creatives’ are unable to buy life insurance like your ordinary working Joe, and their offspring are inevitably useless and unable to earn their own incomes, ergo must be protected by draconian, confiscatory laws whose predominant side-effect is to achieve the exact opposite of what the law was originally drafted to do: encourage creativity.

Actually, as I understand it, the purpose of the first copyright laws were specifically to help the state control what gets published. The malarkey about encouraging creativity came later, in order to dupe people into falling for it.

I asked my brother, who is a lawyer, for his comments. Here they are, unfortunately in Afrikaans, so too bad for those unfamiliar with this curious little creole:

[i]In ons reg sou die ding nie verder as n dagvaardiging gekom het nie. Die dagvaardiging openbaar nie n eisoorsaak nie te wete:

" . . . animals cannot own copyright [but People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sued Mr Slater in 2015]".

Dit sou iets kos om te verweer maar die dagvaardiging sou nooit verder as n prosesreglike dood gekom het nie en PETA se PROKUREURS sou die koste self moes betaal omdat ons regspraak nie onbesinne prokureurs toelaat om met ENIGIETS hof toe te hardloop nie. Eintlik sou die saak afgewys word oor n meer fundamentele probleem naamlik dat ape nie regsbevoegdheid het nie en derhalwe nie hof toe kan gaan om mee te begin nie - die enigste party was dus PETA en hulle het nie kopiereg nie. Die prokureur sou moes opdok.[/i]

In short, in South Africa no lawyer would even take on PETA’s case because lawyers who take on blatantly absurd and/or frivolous cases are held responsible for the costs. There would be no case at all. Another example perhaps of America’s absurdist legal system.

You can go too far even in the USA.

That’s almost a book. Perhaps Andile Mxitama sees Mr Thompson as a role model.

PETA is wasting all of their years of good work on frivolous rubbish. As an organisation, they have become the most objectionable stereotype of a raging, vicious SUPER-SJW. Sad. Most of their causes are justifiable and even reasonable but the message gets lost in all the screeching.

The summary should do. :slight_smile:

I got carried away and read everything. I wonder who wrote it. It’s excellent.

He’s probably some sort of closeted pervert himself. Such fanaticism against ‘immorality’ is never a good sign. :slight_smile:

Yup. And yup again.