An Indonesian monkey that achieved Internetcelebrity with a grinning selfie cannot own thephotograph’s copyright, a federal judge said thisweek.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had argued in United States District Court in SanFrancisco that the rights to the photograph, which was snapped using a photographer’sunattended camera, rightfully belonged to the monkey, a crested macaque.
善待动物组织(Ethical Treatment of Animals)在旧金山的美国地方法院为这只黑冠猕猴争取照片所有权。照片是这只猴子用摄影师故意放在那里的相机自拍的。
In a tentative opinion on Wednesday, Judge William H. Orrick disagreed.
周三(1月6日)，威廉·H·奥里克法官(William H. Orrick)在一份初步意见书上对他们的主张表示反对。
“While Congress and the president can extend the protection of law to animals as well ashumans,” he wrote, “there is no indication that they did so in the copyright act.”
The images were taken during a trip by the British photographer, David Slater, to theTangkoko Reserve on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi in 2011. He put his camera on a tripodamid a troop of macaques, setting it so it would automatically focus and wind, and waited forthe animals to get curious.
那些照片是英国摄影师大卫·斯莱特(David Slater)2011年在印度尼西亚苏拉威岛的Tangkoko保护区(Tangkoko Reserve)拍摄的。他把相机放在三脚架上，设为自动对焦，置于一群猕猴中间，等待它们产生好奇心。
The results included the charming mug of the monkey, identified by PETA as a 6-year-oldmale, Naruto, grinning broadly and bucktoothed into the lens.
Mr. Slater published a book, “Wildlife Personalities,” that included the pictures, and the imageswere widely shared online, including without permission by Wikipedia. When Mr. Slater askedthe crowd-sourced website to remove the image, it refused under much the same rationale asPETA: Mr. Slater didn’t press the shutter release, so the image was not his.
In September, PETA filed its lawsuit against Mr. Slater, his company, and Blurb, the companythat published his book, asking the judge to allow it to represent Naruto and distribute theimage’s proceeds for the benefit of the Indonesian reserve’s crested macaques, a criticallyendangered species.
The photographer’s lawyers asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that amonkey lacks legal standing. Its motion, at times, struck a mocking tone.
“A monkey, an animal-rights organization and a primatologist walk into federal court to sue forinfringement of the monkey’s claimed copyright. What seems like the setup for a punch line isreally happening.”
Judge Orrick explained from the bench on Wednesday that he had no authority to extendsuch rights to animals.
“This is an issue for Congress and the president,” he said, according to Ars Technica. “If theythink animals should have the right of copyright, they’re free, I think, under the Constitution,to do that.”
Last July, another legal effort to reinterpret the rights of other primates failed to persuade ajudge. The Nonhuman Rights Project argued in a State Supreme Court in Manhattan that twoapes being held by a university for research were “legal persons,” highly intelligent and self-aware, and should be removed to a sanctuary. The judge took the case seriously, butultimately decided that under the law, Hercules and Leo were property, not people.
去年7月，另一次重新阐释其他灵长类动物权利的法律行动也没有赢得法官的支持。非人类权利计划(Nonhuman Rights Project)在曼哈顿的州最高法院要求释放一所大学拘禁的两只用作研究的类人猿，称它们是“法人”，具有很高的智商和自我意识，应该被送往保护区。那位法官认真对待这一案件，但是最终判定，依照法律，赫尔克里士(Hercules)和利奥(Leo)是财产，不是人。
Despite PETA’s setback this week, the group cast its unorthodox legal battle as a crucialstep toward enlarging the rights of animals.
“We will continue to fight for Naruto and his fellow macaques,” Jeff Kerr, an attorney for PETA,said in a statement, adding “As my legal mentor used to say, ‘In social-cause cases,historically, you lose, you lose, you lose, and then you win.’”