b craw: Though a unique circumstance, I think the law can be applied here in a pretty clear manner. [I acknowledge that I am not a professional in this field, though]. In absence of the possibility that a work for hire situation can be entered into with an animal (even a fairly intelligent primate), then the burden falls on Mr. Slater to demonstrate that the primary production of the images was done by him. As he has promoted these images as "selfies", then the predominate and definitional activity relating to production lies with the ape; preparation, postprocessing, and distribution not constituting essential production. As an example in contrast, wildlife photo traps are almost completely produced by the photographer. In the case of Mr. Slater, as an animal cannot hold a copyright, no copyright protection can be applied. Mr. Slater can, of course, distribute and profit from the images, as can anyone else. He has no legal basis to demand that Wikimedia take the images down.
Statements like the following have been questioned many times in this thread: "preparation, postprocessing, and distribution not constituting essential production"
Since Mr. Slater has said that he did not prepare a monkey selfie session, but instead just left the camera there, walked away, and when he came back the selfies had been taken, I agree on your overall assessment.
skyfotos: In days of yore - unless commissioned - copyright is vested with the photographer if he/she purchased, and therefor owned, the film on which the image was made. The same should surely apply to the owner of the sensor!
So if you take a passport photo in a photo booth, you would say that you don't own the copyright? Clearly, the sensor in that machine isn't yours.
Anastigmat: If I set a camera trap and the shutter is tripped when someone or some animal interrupts a beam of light, then who owns the copyright to the photo? I would say that I did because I did everything that is needed to create the photograph except tripping the shutter at the moment of exposure. Similarly, if I use trap focus to take the picture, and the shutter is tripped when a bird comes into focus, then the bird is not the copyright holder. I am.
The difference is: you designed the setup specifically to take images. Taking this kind of image was your goal.
Mr. Slater has said: I left the camera on the tripod, then walked away, and when I came back the monkey had taken images.
It was not his intent to get the monkey selfies. Major difference.
hc44: "'a work owing its form to the forces of nature and lacking human authorship is not registrable.' "
A hypothetical contraption: A random number generator uses the current wind speed as a seed (random 'shuffle') and produces random numbers once per time interval (say 1 minute). The number is between 1 and 100; every time a 1 is generated a photo is taken.
Does the creator and initiator of this contraption have copyright ownership of the photos taken?
@hc44: it was his full intent to take pictures
Imagine if he did not have the random generator but everything else is equal. The machine takes 1 image per minute. He'd have roughly 100 times more images and own copyright for all of them without a doubt.
Due to the way the machine was designed, he only got roughly 1 out of 100 images. But, this is a subset of all the images he'd have copyright for if he omitted the PNRG.
I don't see how that makes a difference - he just got fewer images.
mick232: Gentlemen - several pro laywers, including IP laywers, have been discussing this topic since 2011, applying US, UK, Indonesian and international copyright law.
They have not come to a clear conclusion.
So, with all due respect, no matter how well-substantiated your comment here is, it is nothing more than your opinion. This takes careful legal analysis and knowledge of all facts, evidence and also Slater's statements (which seem to change over time) and I doubt anybody posting a comment here has access to that.
Well, that is how it is. As a citizen, you are required to follow the law, even if you, your laywer and even a court can't determine if what you are trying to do is legal or not.
If the highest court says it is illegal, then bad luck, even if everybody before told you it isn't.
Gentlemen - several pro laywers, including IP laywers, have been discussing this topic since 2011, applying US, UK, Indonesian and international copyright law.
Branko Collin: If I've learned anything from some of the arm-chair lawyers in this thread, it's that Lensrentals.com must be filthy rich by now because of all the copyrights that automatically devolve to them every time someone takes a photo with rented gear.
That is a simplistic statement. Even pro laywers have been discussing this topic for years (see linked articles above) and have not come to a unique conclusion.
But Mr Collin, who calls others armchair lawyers, obviously has figured it out...
stevens37y: Actually Slater simply could have said that he made the photos.
But then nobody would be interested in the photos. They'd just be ordinary photos.
VadymA: 202.02(b) Human author.The term "authorship" implies that, for a work to be copyrightable, it must owe its origin to a human being. Materials produced solely by nature, by plants, or by animals are not copyrightable.
How hard it is to trace the origin of the monkey's pictures to a human being after all that work the photographer has done to make it happen (planning and making a trip, living with the tribe, gaining their trust, letting them play with equipment, bringing the pictures back, processing them)? Who if not Mr. Slater is the author of those highly original pictures?How can someone claim that they were produced SOLELY BY NATUTE, BY PLANTS, or BY ANIMALS?
That is indeed a good point. If Mr. Slater would defend himself in a reasonable manner, he may be able to sue successfully.
I read, however, that he prefers to make ridiculous accusations such as:
"It's potentially being run by people with political agendas," Slater said of Wikipedia. "The people who are editing it could be a new Adolf Hitler or a new Stalin ... They're using whatever suits their agenda."
Klarno: How about a thought experiment:
Let's say you have an art installation in a museum or gallery. In the installation, you have set up a camera, and direct people visiting the installation to take a selfie with that camera. The camera is connected to a computer running a script which automatically uploads and posts each photo to a thread on Reddit. The Reddit thread is displayed on a nearby computer screen. For the record, I've seen stranger art installations.
Who, then, does the copyright of the photograph then belong to? The person who thought up and set up the installation, the gallery's curator, or the person taking the selfie?
I think intent has to be considered in copyright.
I am not sure I get your main point.
Who had the intent for an individual selfie in this scenario? The creator of the installation or the person who opted to take the selfie? Who should hold copyright?
I also wonder why it is important to route the image through Reddit instead of displaying it directly on the screen locally?
You can also argue for the images to be in the public domain as follows: let's assume the monkey had an owner. There's not much doubt that the owner would be liable for any damage the monkey causes, e.g. breaking that camera. Some could also argue that the owner of the monkey could claim copyright for the image taken by his monkey instead of the person providing the camera.
Why would the outcome of the copyright discussion depend on whether somebody owns the monkey or not? You can argue that it doesn't. The public domain will have to cover damages causes by wild monkeys, and the public domain, as the owner of a wild monkey, could also claim copyright for whatever the monkey produces.
Klarno: The photographer is the one that made the macaque selfie possible. The monkey didn't go to walmart and buy the camera, and the monkey didn't really compose any images, not knowing that any images would be captured, only seeing her reflection in the lens and hearing the sound of the shutter.
The copyright can't belong to the macaque, as the law does not provide for animals to have copyright. Nor does the macaque have power to determine whether or not any copies can be made of the photograph.
Copyright is an economic right, and if there's a profit to be made from this photograph, that right should belong to the photographer who made the photograph possible. He put himself, and the camera, in the situation where the macaque selfie ended up happening.
The only way public domain can apply in a private photographer's situation is if the copyright expires (in the UK, 70 years after the photographer's death), or the photographer chooses to place the photograph in the public domain.
So you are saying that if I pay a photographer to take my picture, I get the copyright?
That is not the case, at least where I live. You don't lose copyright simply by getting paid. It takes a contract that makes the copyright transfer explicit, and there is no such contract in the examples I gave.
That immediately leads to the following question: is the photographer the only one that made the macaque selfie possible?
Would the selfie be possible without the taxi driver that drove him to that place, the camera manufacturer that made the camera, the guy that feeds the macaque to prevent it from dying before taking the selfie, ...
It is not as easy. If the photographer can claim the copyright, others may do so as well. So to put it into the public domain is not as far-fetched as it may seem.
Do not buy ZTE phones if you want regular firmware updates.
I sent the link to the Metz web page to SAR, they posted it as news item, and now from there it made its way to dpreview. Thank me for reading this piece of news here! ;-)
Medium-format is the new full-frameFull-frame is the new APS-C
Zoron: I am getting D900...not this incremental sht....who's with me?
Don't buy a x00 release from Nikon. You got to wait for the D910.
pca7070: Made in Thailand, finally.
Isn't that thread just a tiny bit racist?
Bob Meyer: Wow. Nikon finally offers full HD recording. Maybe by 2024 they'll catch up to 4K?
@bikinichris: just because you can't play back 4K video now doesn't mean you don't want to record in that resolution today.
Individual1: Would be kinda fun shooting video through this rig. I can imagine showing up on a movie set with it and getting some interesting looks.
135mm lens on a crop body, so the actual focal length is close to 200mm.
I am not sure if that is so useful for video.