PetaPixel

Tech Blog Receives Takedown Request Over Photos Monkey Took

Just as the monkey photography story was dying down, a new twist emerges: on Monday tech blog TechDirt received an email from Caters News, the agency representing wildlife photographer David Slater, whose camera was hijacked by a monkey and used to shoot a number of self-portraits.

The email requested that the blog remove the images:

I have noticed you have used David Slater’s images on your website. However we are representing David Slater and syndicating these images on his behalf.

[…] These images are being used without David’s or our permission, therefore can I ask you remove these images from your site immediately.

Techdirt’s original post was focused on whether or not Slater owned the copyright to photographs taken by a monkey. Since the email did not address this, they emailed back asking for clarification. Here’s the news agency’s response:

Michael, regardless of the issue of who does and doesn’t own the copyright – it is 100% clear that the copyright owner is not yourself.

You have blatantly ‘lifted’ these photographs from somewhere – I presume the Daily Mail online. On the presumption that you do not like to encourage copyright theft (regardless of who owns it) then please remove the photographs.

Mike Masnick of TechDirt, the author of the posts, writes,

If I’m reading this correctly — and I believe that I am — Caters News Agency is claiming that anyone, copyright holder or not, can issue a takedown on a photo, if they can claim that the person using the image is not the copyright holder either — regardless of whether “fair use” applies. That’s… an interesting interpretation of the law. It’s also not a valid interpretation of the law. In fact, in some places, sending a takedown notice, if you are not the copyright holder, is what’s actually against the law. It’s absolutely true that we are not the copyright holder, but as I made clear in my email, that does not matter, as we believe that our use qualifies as fair use. The whole point of fair use is, in fact, to allow those who are not the holders of the copyright to make use of the work in some cases, so it seems odd that Caters would imply no such thing exists.

We also published a few of the monkey’s photos here on PetaPixel, so we’re very interested in seeing how this plays out. It’ll go a long way toward answering the question: “Can monkeys own rights to photos?“.

(via Techdirt)


 
  • http://twitter.com/zak Zak Henry

    Has anyone thought to ask said monkey?

  • http://www.facebook.com/hollywooddigital Mark Aaron

    who’s the monkey now?  lol  funny

  • http://twitter.com/HLimPhotography Harry Lim

    I’m no lawyer but since it’s for editorial use (to teach, inform, report or illustrate a story) it seems like fair use. It’s not like he or PetaPixel is passing the image off as their own and making a profit from it. On the contrary, the stories make full mention of the photographer. I saw this on the Today show before I read it on-line. It’s news and reporting it as such is not an infringement of copyright. What about all the bloggers who posted Jay Maisel’s image of Miles Davis to talk about his copyright battle? Did all those people violate Maisel’s copyright because they were reporting on the story? 

  • tims

    He’s just mad because the Chimps took better photos than he did ;)

  • http://de.wetours.com Thailand Reisen

    Monkey business :-)

  • http://profiles.google.com/slimspidey Spider- Man

    DAMN DIRTY APES!!!!

    How ironic that the new Planet of the Apes movie is coming out soon, hmmmmm

  • unsilent majority

    I’m a Gorilla!

  • Friendly_dolphin

    Ape is on the next Magnum entry shortlist

  • Tim

    I can’t answer the direct question of who owns copyright in pictures taken by a monkey, but I can say that using images to report news does not come under fair use. That use was excluded from FU law because otherwise no photojournalist could ever make a living and that would stifle news reporting.

    And yes, I suspect many bloggers did breach Jay’s copyright. Bloggers seem to think the law is something which applies to everyone else.

  • http://twitter.com/JackCallum Jack Kennedy

    I’d say more coincidental rather than ironic.

  • http://twitter.com/DanMarshPhoto Dan

    Fair use only applies in the USA.

    Does that mean the photo should not be transmitted to visitors from outside the USA?

  • http://www.ameridane.org thingwarbler

     I think it’s a question of the publisher’s legal country of origin: an American website could possibly make a fair use claim, no matter where their audience might be, while a UK site could not simply post it and claim fair use if they somehow only showed it to American visitors.

  • http://www.ameridane.org thingwarbler

     I think it’s a question of the publisher’s legal country of origin: an American website could possibly make a fair use claim, no matter where their audience might be, while a UK site could not simply post it and claim fair use if they somehow only showed it to American visitors.

  • http://www.ameridane.org thingwarbler

     I think it’s a question of the publisher’s legal country of origin: an American website could possibly make a fair use claim, no matter where their audience might be, while a UK site could not simply post it and claim fair use if they somehow only showed it to American visitors.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=673406604 Jon Liebold

    Falls under “Comment & Criticism” category of Fair Use. These copyright equivalents of ambulence chasers really need to stop getting law degrees out of Crackerjack boxes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=673406604 Jon Liebold

    Falls under “Comment & Criticism” category of Fair Use. These copyright equivalents of ambulence chasers really need to stop getting law degrees out of Crackerjack boxes.

  • ContentRipper

    So if you have a flickr account Harry could you let us know where I can find all my new free “fair use” blog content. If I make some ad revenue on the side that’s still fair use…. right?

  • Akien MacIain

    While I agree that’s a very good question, the legal action (illegal tho it may be) is about whether David owns copyright on an image he didn’t take. Which is clearly silly.

  • http://www.thepictureland.com asghar ahmed

    It’s a monkey business