Monkey See, Monkey Sue
July 15, 2017 7:15 PM   Subscribe

Hey, remember that monkey selfie copyright drama a few years ago? It's just hit the US appeals courts. But the crested black macaques of Sulawesi have more immediate concerns than copyright law: they are hunted for meat, kept as pets, and threatened by a shrinking habitat. For these monkeys, it’s a fight for survival.
posted by homunculus (22 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Tied up in litigation until climate change destroys their habitat and the whole thing becomes moot. We're stuck in 2017 and these monkeys are living in 2117 already.
posted by No-sword at 9:15 PM on July 15 [3 favorites]


Ain't no law on the books says a dog can't play basketball!
*ducks
posted by es_de_bah at 10:25 PM on July 15 [4 favorites]


This seems like a textbook example of letting perfect be the enemy of good. Yeah, in a perfect world where climate change wasn't both destroying the environment these animals need to live, AND making the surrounding humans so desperate for food they are turning to the monkeys as food, IF these things weren't true, then intellectual property rights for monkeys would be an interesting and thought provoking test case.

BUT FOR GODS SAKE THESE ANIMALS ARE IN DANGER OF BECOMING EXTINCT! Who cares about if they own their own selfies or not- how about saving the fucking monkeys first?

God animal rights folks drive me batshit sometimes. No sense of fucking perspective.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 10:31 PM on July 15 [6 favorites]


PETA give not one single shit about anything outside of doing crazy PETA crap and getting attention for it. Though TBH on the copyright thing I'd also be looking out for some shady Thiel type backing them who might benefit from some more non-human entity friendly copyright laws.
posted by Artw at 10:41 PM on July 15 [4 favorites]




I've never read anything PETA-related that didn't make me hate them more than I did the last time I read something about them.

Hell, I was a vegetarian for 22 years and hated them then, too.
posted by dobbs at 11:50 PM on July 15 [10 favorites]


Speaking of survival, all primates should be aware of surging selfie death rates.
posted by fairmettle at 1:54 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]


BUT FOR GODS SAKE THESE ANIMALS ARE IN DANGER OF BECOMING EXTINCT! Who cares about if they own their own selfies or not- how about saving the fucking monkeys first?

PETA is embracing neoliberalism. If they can bring the monkeys into the global economy they can improve their standard of living exploiting the comparative advantage of selfie exports to make their economy more liquid and less commodity-oriented.
posted by Space Coyote at 4:43 AM on July 16 [5 favorites]


My eyes blurred 15 words in. Good job, Space Coyote.
posted by Night_owl at 5:54 AM on July 16 [4 favorites]


PETA does nothing but obscure the issues that are actually important and self-aggrandize. They have done nothing for primate conservation, and while it's great that now a lot of people can recognize Sulawesi black crested macaques, it's done literally nothing for the conservation status of black crested macaques or any other primate. The money they've spent on this incredibly stupid copyright issue could have conserved habitat, could have helped develop new protein sources for people who are relying on primates for meat, could have gone towards research, could have gone towards education campaigns, could have done an awful lot of good for the world if that was what they cared about. It's not, and it's stupid and infuriating.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:36 AM on July 16 [17 favorites]


I just came in to see if any lawyers had yet thought of arguing that it was a work for hire. Of course they have.

Anyway, thank you metafilter for reminding me to check out Seamonkey before Firefox completes their alleged plan to disable all my favourite extensions in version 57.
posted by sfenders at 7:01 AM on July 16 [2 favorites]


Yikes, I thought the (human) photographer had filed a lawsuit over this, on the basis that the article I linked to said he "claims that unlicensed use of the photo has cost him tens of thousands of dollars." That claim is not one made through the legal system, most likely. Previous comment edited. Sorry.
posted by sfenders at 7:09 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 8:24 AM on July 16


Yeah,in a perfect world where climate change wasn't [...] destroying the environment these animals need to live

It's not climate change that's doing that. It's assholes who simply must have their precious coconut water. Goodbye, forest; hello, plantation.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:40 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]


I would like to point out that while PETA appears to be carrying the torch on this nonsense, it seems to have originated with Wikimedia coming up with bizarre ad hoc reasoning for using a copyrighted photo without permission.
posted by Gymnopedist at 1:00 PM on July 16


So, if the primate owns the photo, how can wikimedia claim it has CC status - did the primate declare that copyright? If not the primate owns the pic, and no one (other than the primate) should be able to use it for any purpose, right?

Also, sorry they are all in danger of dying.
posted by el io at 4:38 PM on July 16


Wikimedia took the position that as the creation of an animal the photo was in the public domain, not that it was a work licensed under a Creative Commons license. Both the lower court and the U.S. Copyright office came to the same conclusion, so Wikimedia's reasoning appears likely to validated as a correct interpretation of U.S. copyright law.
posted by RichardP at 5:19 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


I'm an atheist but I think I understand how sane and reasonable members of religious faiths feel when some crazy extremist claiming to be one of them makes the news.

I've been some version of vegetarian or vegan for the vast majority of my life and I believe strongly in the profound sentience of non-human animals but my hatred for PETA is boundless. Their craven publicity stunts actively discourage sane dialogue and are nothing but self-aggrandizing crap. Their sanctimonious bullshit drives people away from learning about the very real benefits of plant-based diets, and the way they've perverted the words 'vegan' and 'vegetarian' infuriates me.

Any time I hear about them on the news I yell at the radio: SHUT UP PETA YOU'RE NOT HELPING. Because seriously they make everything so much worse.
posted by jesourie at 2:29 PM on July 17 [2 favorites]


God animal rights folks drive me batshit sometimes. No sense of fucking perspective.

PETA give not one single shit about anything outside of doing crazy PETA crap and getting attention for it.

PETA does nothing but obscure the issues that are actually important and self-aggrandize.

SHUT UP PETA YOU'RE NOT HELPING.


I don't know what I expected, but it wasn't this party line kind of thing about PETA being insane.

In case none of you have heard of PETA beyond the SHUT UP PETA echo chamber, I'll go ahead and tell you why I, a toxicologist who hates the stupid methods the old guard in my field have clung to despite a huge international swing away form animal-based toxicology, support them, and donate to them, grandly: they're one of the groups in the U.S. with a scientific staff that develops and funds humane test method development. They'll have a chunk of my monthly pay as long as they keep doing this kind of work that virtually no one else is doing in the U.S., especially.

But sure, see the acronym "PETA" and hurl an insult, it's fun I guess.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 5:28 PM on July 17 [2 favorites]


Well, as someone who studies wild primates, I can tell you that the money PETA (and the photographer) is using for this stupid copyright issue could be spent in much more effective and efficient ways that would actually conserve wild primates and improve the lot of captive primates.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:46 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


You might consider that some of us who have problems with PETA have reasons for our positions, instead of snarkily implying it's for fun.
posted by Lexica at 6:33 PM on July 17 [4 favorites]




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