Monday, September 28, 2015

Starting Off The Week With A Giggle And A 'WTF?'

I like PETA, I do. I mean, what’s not to like: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. A person who doesn’t like PETA has got to be nuts, though there are time when PETA itself gets a little crazy.

British nature photographer David Slater went to Sulawesi in 2011 and created a book called "Wildlife Personalities" with the pictures taken on that trip, and that’s where PETA is pissy.

See, while taking photos Slater left a camera on the ground and a macaque monkey took a series of selfies that are, well, fabulous. Selfies that prove this macaque is the Selfie King and every single person on the planet needs to stop taking selfies right now because, in the words of The [t]Rump, ‘You’re a loser.’

But, and this is the WTF I referred to up top, a novel lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Francisco by PETA saying the court should issue an order allowing PETA 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.

Yes PETA is claiming that since the monkey took the selfies that PETA should become the administrator of the income generated by the selling of the selfies—they appeared in Slater’s book, and at many online sources—so they can care for the monkey and others.

Seriously; PETA maintains that no one owns the copyright to the images because they were taken by an animal, not a person.

Again, seriously. And they have a leg to stand on because last year, the U.S. Copyright Office issued an updated compendium of its policies, including a section stipulating that it would register copyrights only for works produced by human beings. It specified that works produced by animals, whether a photo taken by a monkey or a mural painted by an elephant, would not qualify.

And so PETA struck, and used Slater’s own account of his interaction with Naruto against him stating that Naruto "authored the monkey selfies by his own independent, autonomous actions in examining and manipulating Slater's unattended camera."

Slater, for his part, believes the British copyright obtained for the photos by his company, Wildlife Personalities Ltd., should be honored worldwide. And he has offered to sell copies of one of the "monkey selfies" and will donate $1.70 per order to a conservation project dedicated to protecting Sulawesi's macaques. But he also wants some of the money from the sales for his daughter:
"I sincerely wish my 5-year-old daughter to be able to be proud of her father and inherit my copyrights so that she can make my work into an asset and inheritance and go to university. I have very little else to offer her."
Seriously, PETA, aren’t there bigger fish to fry? Perhaps a lawsuit, or even a request, that Slater donate some of the proceeds from his book to a conservation project in Sulawesi might have made you look better and less like a monkey with a camera.

And again, selfies addicts of the world: when a monkey takes the Best Selfie Ever it’s time for y’all to stop.


John Gray said...

I listened to a BBC radio programme on this lawsuit a while ago
It was facinating
Its was as interesting as the photo was funny

Bob Slatten said...

I keep thinking I gotta be careful if one of the cats, or the dog, steps on my camera and takes an accidental selfie and then opts to sue me for copyright infringement.
My cats could end up owning my home and I would be their servant and ...
Oh wait, that's already happened.

the dogs' mother said...

we do not want to give abby any more power....

anne marie in philly said...

say WHAT? PETA needs to back off and away on this one...

Helen Lashbrook said...

a) who is to say PETA has picked the right Macaque; did Naruto pipe and say "it was me who took those pics"?
b) under what law do PETA claim to have the right to pics taken by any animal? Did the lions (as king of beasts) make a formal declaration to that effect?
This just makes PETA look silly and petty

Master Markus said...

Bob and some of you commenters sound surprised. PETA's been awful and petty for YEARS now.