Tuesday, September 06, 2016

"It is impossible to talk about the case without making it sound ridiculous; indeed, it *is* ridiculous, as in 'an exceptionally easy target for ridicule.'"

America’s only known primatologist-turned-copyright-law-professor weighs in on the monkey selfie case:

"There are many reasons that copyright law does not and should not deem Naruto to be an 'author,' ranging from the purely practical (e.g., How do we know the monkey’s name is 'Naruto,' and that he was the one that snapped the photo? What if no human had been there to see him do so — is there still a copyright, and does he own it? Insofar as copyright in a work endures for the life of the author plus 70 years, who’s keeping track of this wild macaque’s lifespan, and how will we know when it’s over?) to the more abstract: Copyright’s fundamental rationale is that bestowing protection on works is a means of providing 'authors' with an incentive that they otherwise would not have to create those works in the first place; non-humans (and machines, for that matter) can’t be 'authors' because they won’t be and can’t be incentivized by the existence of copyright protection for their works."