Friday, July 14, 2017

Monkey Shines

Mr. Macaque
Hat Tip to TBH

Maura Dolan, reporting for the LA Times (July 12, 2017), tells us: "'He is a monkey': Federal appeals court appears doubtful that a monkey who took a selfie can sue." Is this a serious case? Or a waste of time? And money? And humor? (Or Photoshopped?) At any rate, "Monkey see, monkey sue?" is a question raised recently in the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals:
A federal appeals court appeared highly skeptical Wednesday that a monkey had standing to sue for copyright protection.

During a hearing, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals considered a lawsuit by an Indonesian macaque named Naruto. The animal allegedly grabbed a photographer's camera in 2011 and snapped a self-portrait.

Photographer David Slater included the photo in a book. An animal rights group sued on behalf of Naruto, contending the photographer infringed on the monkey's rights.
If the monkey has rights, then the creature can also be held accountable for its actions. Can't it be charged with theft and unauthorized use of someone else's property?



At 11:40 AM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...

"If the monkey has rights, then the creature can also be held accountable for its actions."

I agree, but I admit I haven't figured out the reasoning behind this statement. A baby has most or all of the same rights as a full-grown human being, but we don't hold it responsible (not in the sense of punishment, anyway) when it deliberately reaches out and tips over an expensive vase, smashing it on the tile floor. What's the linkage being having rights and being held accountable for one's actions? Color me curious.

At 12:00 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

That would be the age of accountability.

In this case, accountability would be shown by the monkey's intent to take a selfie. If the animal rights group can prove intent, then the group also, albeit inadvertently, proves the monkey guilty of theft, etc.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:24 PM, Blogger TheBigHenry said...

Let's not ignore the fact he took a selfie in public while nude! I don't know what the legal definition of pornography is, but I know it when I see it. Plus, this dude is really ugly.

At 12:59 PM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...

Well played, Henry.

At 1:04 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

Meanwhile, what about the aesthetic dimension of Naruto's selfie? Clearly, that he was able to produce this image raises very important questions, including but not limited to issues of historical context, inter-species perception of the "other", simian alienation, technology and authority, the place of mimetic "acts" in enhancing self-esteem, the construction of monkey identity...

At 6:39 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Critical theory as monkey shine . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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