Who owns a Monkey Selfie, PETA says the monkey does!

Who owns a Monkey Selfie, PETA says the monkey does!




In a widely publicized legal battle, PETA argued that a monkey that played with an unattended camera and took a picture of himself by intentionally fondling the camera, owned the rights to the picture of him looking at the camera.  The owner of the camera has agreed to make a substantial contribution to charitable organizations that will benefit that and similar monkeys.


I think the entire exercise is PETA insanity in high gear.  I saw the picture and if the camera’s owner hadn’t claimed the monkey took the picture himself, there would not be any way to tell he did.  The monkey didn’t “intend”, “want to”, or even “know”, he took the picture, he fondled the camera and triggered the shutter.   


Wild animals caught on critter cams do the same thing by triggering the motion sensor activated shutter, do they also own the resulting pictures?  They are about as responsible for creating the picture as their wild counterparts who unintentionally and unknowingly wander into view of wildlife photographers. 


Once again PETA has proven they are willing to tie up our courts and seriously wreck innocent people’s lives over issues that show their utter contempt for any Human that enjoys the company of, or in this any interaction with animals.  There are many animal rescue groups I admire greatly but PETA is not one of them.  They will never get a penny of my money.


Jeff Jackson Added Sep 16, 2017 - 12:57pm
Legally, it is a monkey. It has no legal identity, period. It can, however, be a benefactor of a trust, but it is not, as a monkey, a recognized legal entity, and I cannot for the life of me figure out how the courts could consider it any other way. I would challenge PETA to prove how they obtained consent of the monkey to represent him, perhaps the money had other legal representatives of which PETA is not aware. I want to see where the monkey signed on to have PETA represent him. Yes, animals have been taken to court. Rats have been taken to court as have other vermin.
I see where the monkey "he took the picture, he fondled the camera and triggered the shutter," therefore, without consent of the owner or agreement in advance of the picture being taken, the owner is the sole owner of the picture and the monkey is guilty of possession and use of other people's property.   
Leroy Added Sep 16, 2017 - 1:21pm
It the courts are consistant with the past, the photo should be public domain.  It's come up before with elephant paintings.  Either the monkey owns the copyright or no one does.  Clearly, it would make a monkey out of our copyright system to allow the monkey to own it.  I don't know if the lawsuit answered that question.
Charles Frankhauser Added Sep 16, 2017 - 2:39pm
What if politicians discover this hidden source of potential income by just grabbing cellphones taking a selfie and demanding a political campaign donation prior to return of the cellphone?
Rusty Smith Added Sep 16, 2017 - 6:02pm
Jeff Jackson I don't think the monkey has ever been determined to have any rights as a legal entity but that didn't stop PETA from sicking their lawyers on this poor guy and making his life miserable besides depriving him of earnings he'd otherwise have had. 
To me this exercise is not about the monkey's rights, it's about how sick PETA is and the ways they are willing to terrorize innocent people in order to reduce the interaction between people and animals to as close to Zero as they possibly can.
Rusty Smith Added Sep 16, 2017 - 6:09pm
Leroy there are only subtle physical differences between someone who takes a picture of another person and uses it commercially without their consent and a person who takes a picture of an animal and uses it without their consent.
If the monkey was owed compensation, so would it be likely that every wild animal ever photographed was also owed compansaton.
I might even argue that those in zoos would be owed massive compensation because they are forcibly restrained in places where they can be seen and photographed, despite the fact that many woud choose to leave if the could.
If I had to guess I would speculate that is where PETA wants to take things.
Dr. Rupert Green Added Sep 17, 2017 - 5:15am
@Rusty. "In a widely publicized legal battle, PETA argued that a monkey that played with an unattended camera and took a picture of himself by intentionally fondling the camera, owned the rights to the picture of him looking at the camera."
You must remember that in past times Blacks were called monkeys and considered incapable of having the faculties near that of a human. Thus, they could be worked like a mule, whipped with the  cat o' nine and then have salt rubbed in their wounds, and used as breeders whose children would be taken and sold. Those less than animal creature were believed to lack pain sensation or emotional attachment.
Still further, women were seen as properties lacking the wisdom to have copyright and patents. Therefore, the immense discoveries related to the solar system were credited to White men.
So, do you believe as we had it wrong in the past we could have it wrong today and PETA may be on to something?
Leroy Added Sep 17, 2017 - 7:24am
Are you suggesting, Dr. Green, that this monkey was a skilled photographer?  and that he should be rewarded for his skill?  Are you making the same mistake of comparing blacks to monkeys?
Dr. Rupert Green Added Sep 17, 2017 - 9:11am
@ Leroy. I am giving a hint regarding the subtle use of "monkey" in narratives to advance latent racism and bigotry. This link is informative.
Scientists choking the chicken stumble on discoveries all the time. They are credited as inventors, but many Blacks making discovers did not have the "intelligence" to be credited. Whites got the credit and the patent. I wonder why a Black Louis Latimer never got credit for the light bulb?  A White Thomas Edison did.
Dr. Rupert Green Added Sep 17, 2017 - 10:16am
@Mr. Yoder. "Rupert, sometimes a monkey  is just a monkey. 
How about a "wooden" Indian? ( who never got a kiss)"
You are right. Perhaps I am hyper sensitive to the use of certain words by particular people. It then speaks to our need for mindfullness. 
The teacher in an American classroom wrote the name of a little girl of a certain racial group in red. The girl felt deathly and was out of school for couple days.  The unmindful teacher did not understand in certain Asian country the names of the dead are written in red ink in the book of the dead.
Am I mistaken? Did Hank Aaron not kissed the doll?
Rusty Smith Added Sep 17, 2017 - 11:48am
Dr. Rupert Green  why am I not surprised that your mind seems predisposition-ed to see almost every negative action as yet another reaffirmation that some forms of Racism are alive and well.  YES I do think you are "hyper sensitive" and see Boogie Men in the bushes all the time where none exist.
In doing so I think you by your own defensive actions, bring Racism into forums where it would not otherwise be an issue.  By telling telling all the White forum participants that you hold past transgressions against Black people against them, alienate a new generation of White people who would otherwise not have any connection to Racism.  You are not just keeping Racism alive, you are creating more of it, especially in younger generations that have no other instances of Racism in their lives, by providing them with contemporary experiences that are negative.  Now on to your question.
No I don't see a parallel between the way PETA suggests we took advantage of this Monkey and the way many slave owners profited from the hard work their slaves did.  
Slaves had the ability to understand the value of their labor, the Monkey in our example does not.  If slaves had been given the money the slavers received for the slaves work, they would have wanted it, and been quite capable of using it.  The monkey can't even understand that the is value to the picture that might result in future compensation.  
Leroy Added Sep 17, 2017 - 12:04pm
"I wonder why a Black Louis Latimer never got credit for the light bulb."
It is common knowledge that Edison did not invent the light bulb.  He just made it practical.   Lewis Latimer did receive a "patent in January 1881 for the "Process of Manufacturing Carbons, an improved method for the production of carbon filaments used in lightbulbs."  Edison filed his patent in 1879 for the first light bulb using a carbon filament.  Latimer did work for the Edison Electric Light Company later on.
Lewis Latimer did receive the proper credit via a patent for the work that he did.  You just want to give him all the credit and credit for work for which he did not do.
Charles Frankhauser Added Sep 17, 2017 - 12:15pm
This issue has the earmarks of Monkey Business.  A number of issues come into play.  We need to ask the monkey if he likes the photo enough to claim the ownership rights to a potential hot business property.  As all monkeys know, receiving compensation (trust or no trust) alerts the IRS to a source of income subject to tax.  The monkey must decide on the form of business from sole proprietorship, to LLC, or Incorporation.  Monkey Business is just as serious as Funny Business, Home Business, even Show Business.  If the monkey decides to go the Show Business route, a publicity agent, business manager, accountant, office space -- the list goes on as necessary expenses accumulate to necessitate taking more selfies in anyway possible.  The monkey must agree to meet art lovers in galleries and do interviews on morning TV shows with a goal to increasing celebrity as one serious monkey--a monkey not to be messed with and one to keep away from cellphones unless the monkey decides to photograph weddings and do fashion shoots.  This is one smart monkey.
Rusty Smith Added Sep 17, 2017 - 11:00pm
Charles Frankhauser I agree with everything you said except perhaps that it was one smart monkey, I just think he was just fascinated by the equipment and couldn't resist fondling it.  
I do wish the courts had mocked PETA's argument in favor or "monkey rights to the picture", in the same way you just did, to show how outrageously absurd their lawsuit was.
PETA should have been laughed out of court.
Dr. Rupert Green Added Sep 18, 2017 - 12:39am
@Rusty. "PETA should have been laughed out of court."
The Supreme Court say a man can sleep with his corporation. We corporation owners are waiting for the dust to clear for us to ask for the right to marry our corporations.
Leroy Added Sep 18, 2017 - 8:19am
If we can be screwed by corporations, there certainly should be a right to marry.
Edgeucation Newmedia Added Oct 13, 2017 - 9:35pm
No matter what PETA says the animal doesn't have the rights to the intellectual property because the animal doesn't own the camera. Therefore the monkey doesn't own the photo that was taken b the camera. By PETA's standards the owner could have prosecuted the monkey for theft. The whole thing sounds like a scam by PETA to raise money and get publicity. 
Charles Frankhauser Added Oct 14, 2017 - 12:04pm
As seen in my selfie photo here, the monkey and I are both animals.  Thank goodness people are concerned about protecting us from persons bent on exploiting our financial gains when we produce works of art based on the genius of our efforts as proven in terms of popularity among art lovers.  Sometimes other animals try to get me to take their picture. I insist on a deal in writing before I agree to take their picture.  I get so many requests for my services that I've hired a legal-beagle to negotiate contracts, collect compensation, and manage my public appearances.  I only accept payments when converted into dog treats.  I've had to start watching my weight.