Could the Cindy Sherman of Monkeys Accidentally Revolutionize Copyright Law for Artists? [Art Info] – Questions about process, artifact and IP are complicated once the animal kingdom gets involved. Is putting the means in the monkey’s able hands enough to translate to ownership? BTW – it’s worth clicking through to see the monkey’s expressions!
While working in an Indonesian national park, British nature photographer David Slater had his camera purloined by a clever macaque monkey who took several self-portraits, apparently fascinated by her own reflection in the lens… Copyright is generally held by the person who takes the picture, and since the author was in this case the monkey – Slater explicitly stated that he had no hand in creating the image – Techdirt wondered by what basis Caters could have acquired the copyright… Only humans get copyright, whether in Indonesia, the United Kingdom, or the United States. “In order to be entitled to copyright registration, a work must be the product of human authorship,” says a quote by the U.S. Copyright Office. “Works produced by mechanical processes or random selection without any contribution by a human.” All of this leads to big questions for the world of contemporary art, where works generated by “mechanical processes” and “random selection” are established parts of the vocabulary.