If A Video Is Filmed By Chimps... Who Owns The Copyright?

from the for-you-lawyers dept

Here's a fun one for you lawyers out there. Richard points us to a story about a movie made entirely by chimpanzees who were given cameras, which is now being broadcast on the BBC. However, Richard raises a good question: who owns the copyright on the film. Generally speaking (and, yes, there are some exceptions), whoever creates the actual work gets the copyright, and it seems clear that the chimps specifically learned to pay attention to the viewfinder on the camera. Of course, with films and such, there may be more contractual issues set up, but I doubt the chimps signed anything. Perhaps it's a work-for-hire situation, even if the chimps weren't paid? Though, according to some, if the chimps aren't paid, they won't have incentive to make any new movies...


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  1.  
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    Nate (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 2:49pm

    Hmm...

    I'll give this a go. My guess is whoever managed the project to give the chimps the camera. I figure the chimps are (should be?) viewed as tools of the manager in this case, and tools can't own copyright (right Mr. Camera Stand?).

    *not a lawyer by any stretch of the imagination*

     

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    jjmsan (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 3:22pm

    Corporations

    Animals are view as property and so cannot have any legal rights including the legal right to IP. The rights as such should belong to the owner absent any contract entered into by the owner. Really not that hard.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Hmm...

    Trick is, the chimps (unlike a camera stand) are exhibiting some creative decision making and fixing its form. Maybe they have no legal standing to exercise their copyright, but that doesn't necessarily mean anybody else gets to claim it.

    I'm sure that the owners will posit that it's a 'work for hire' (and claim that the normal care and feeding are their 'wages') but I rather like the idea that a chimp's work belongs to public domain. At least until they get to vote!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Corporations

    Really not that hard.

    It really shouldn't be "that hard" for you to provide a legal citation to support your claim then.

     

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    IP Lawyer, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Corporations

    This is correct, barring contracts on behalf of the owner that grant the rights to a third party.

     

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    IP Lawyer, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 3:41pm

    Re: Re: Corporations

    I don't know where you find a citation that says "animals cannot own copyrights" because this has never been litigated. I.e., this is such an obvious point of law that no one has ever bothered to litigate it. It is like asking a mathematician to cite to something that says "2+2=4."

    One possible exception is granting ownership of a copyright, such as in a will or other instrument, to a trust that is managed for the sake of an animal. However, that is an entirely different beast.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 3:42pm

    I've asked this question before...

    and never received a satisfactory question. It's an interesting question since copyright law says there's an automatic copyright given to the "creator".

     

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    IP Lawyer, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Hmm...

    There may be some argument between product manager and the owner of the chimp, but, odds are, this would count as a "joint authorship" between the owner of the chimp and the manager, and so both would have rights to the copyright.

     

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    mict1111 (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 3:43pm

    chimps make movies in hollywood all the time....

    And the owner of the copyright is the one who gave them the camera to make it with. The producers who then sell it to the studios.
    Chimps never own the copyright, regardless of whether the 'chimp' in question is literal or figurative.

    But, if the chimp wonders into the woods, finds a camera, gathers the crew and cast and then makes the movie and walks away...I suppose it would be up for grabs. Or at least until that chimp logged onto their YouTube account, saw the video being uploaded and sued for a piece of the, er, well...banana pie!

     

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    mohammed ghenedi, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 3:44pm

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 3:45pm

    Wait until the robots start making things!

    Like other robots that make things. Uh-oh!

     

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    Esahc (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 3:45pm

    Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!

     

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    Ryan, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 3:46pm

    Re: Corporations

    If there is no owner or he/she cannot be determined? Maybe it's a stray chimp or one filming in the wild? Doesn't the chimp have to be gainfully employed for it to be a "work for hire"? And then obviously animals do have legal rights, or there would be no cruelty to animals charges. But if they are akin to children, then I know in some cases children retain copyright.

     

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    Nick, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 3:47pm

    The recording industry owns the copyright, of course, and you need to pay them royalties ;)

     

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    A. Turney, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Re: Corporations

    "This is correct,..."

    Citation, please.

     

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    JackSombra (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Re: Hmm...

    At least until they get to vote!
    You say that like might be a bad thing, compared to some people who can (and do) vote, chimps would be a major improvement

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 4:04pm

    Re: chimps make movies in hollywood all the time....

    And the owner of the copyright is the one who gave them the camera to make it with.

    Only in the case of a "work for hire". I'd like to see the contract you think these chimps signed.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 4:05pm

    The chimp its a biological autonomous camera controler, no big deal

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 4:14pm

    Children

    Does a parent own the copyrights of products their minor children create? Or do they temporarily hold it for the child?

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 4:19pm

    Re: Re: Hmm...

    What if it's a wild chimp? And the camera is shaped like a banana? And the banana camera was dropped in the forest by another wild animal? And the video feed was transmitted to a computer that had no owner and then uploaded to YouTube?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 4:23pm

    The finished "work" after being edited...either the editor or a third party if work-for-hire applies.

    As for the individual, unedited clips, likely no one.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 4:24pm

    First owner = author = not chimp

    In the case of a film, the author is "the person by whom the arrangements necessary for the making of the recording or film are undertaken," in which is not necessarily the person or chimp behind the camera, and more likely the person who organised the project.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 4:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Hmm...

    What if it's a wild chimp? And the camera is shaped like a banana? And the banana camera was dropped in the forest by another wild animal? And the video feed was transmitted to a computer that had no owner and then uploaded to YouTube?

    Well, the average quality of youtube videos would go up.

     

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    Avatar28 (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 4:27pm

    Hmm, the video was filmed by a bunch of chimpanzees. And it's still probably better than half the dreck that Hollywood pushes on us.

    Okay, off topic, I know, but I couldn't resist.

     

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    ed smith, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 4:31pm

    The person who gave them the camera owns it. Obviously.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 4:34pm

    Re: Children

    Does a parent own the copyrights of products their minor children create?

    For that matter, what about the copyright of the minor children themselves? After all, the parents created the children and copyright is automatically granted upon creation...

     

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  27.  
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    timlash, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 4:46pm

    Hail!

    I, for one, welcome our movie making chimp overlords! @IP Lawyer

     

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  28.  
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    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 4:48pm

    Chimps aren't so stupid

    Unlike humans, chimps aren't so stupid as to create laws that prevent them copying each other.

    It wasn't until quite late in mankind's cultural and technological development (achieved through a process of continuous improvement aka copying) at the dawn of the industrial revolution, that some unprincipled legislators were given enough backhanders that they created the monopolies of copyright and patent (on the galling pretext they would advance mankind's progress).

    And now all we can do is engage in this depressing doublespeak that copyright is of course most worthy, but in an inexhaustible number of cases, a complete fucking joke.

    It is copyright that is making monkeys out of us all.

    Abolish it.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 4:58pm

    And I own the patent "Movie made by a Chimp"

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 5:15pm

    "but I doubt the chimps signed anything."

    I don't know, perhaps the chimps were given names and they were taught how to sign their names and were commanded to sign their names on the dotted line if they were given a cookie. It's possible. The question is, did the chimps understand what they were signing or that they were signing a contract or were they just repeating a procedure that they were trained to repeat.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 5:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Hmm...

    You say that like might be a bad thing, compared to some people who can (and do) vote, chimps would be a major improvement

    Well, at least it'd be random. So, yeah, they'd have us beat.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 5:17pm

    "Richard points us to a story about a movie made entirely by chimpanzees"

    Was the music made by the chimps too? Wow, evolution at work :)

     

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  33.  
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    Steve, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 5:28pm

    Well they've taught elephants to paint landscapes and whatnot, and the trainers own the rights to the finished products. I figure since animals don't really have the ability to reason and create abstract thought, they're actions can be considered either completely random or programmed in some way. If an animal is thought of as a software program that creates art explicitly through human training (ie programming) then the trainers (ie programmers) would receive most of the credit, followed by a smaller proportion of credit going to anyone who had a hand in the creative works.

     

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    Steve, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 5:29pm

    Well they've taught elephants to paint landscapes and whatnot, and the trainers own the rights to the finished products. I figure since animals don't really have the ability to reason and create abstract thought, they're actions can be considered either completely random or programmed in some way. If an animal is thought of as a software program that creates art explicitly through human training (ie programming) then the trainers (ie programmers) would receive most of the credit, followed by a smaller proportion of credit going to anyone who had a hand in the creative works.

     

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 5:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm...

    Bahahahaha.... Instant hall-of-famer!

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 5:47pm

    Who own the chimps? Who gave permission for them to do this sort of thing?

    It's not hard to figure out who owns the copyright, unless you are trying to be obtuse.

    Strap a camera to your dog, turn on record, and let him wander around. You own the video. NEXT.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 6:04pm

    Re:

    The chimp its a biological autonomous camera controler, no big deal

    So is a human.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 6:06pm

    Re: Re: Children

    For that matter, what about the copyright of the minor children themselves? After all, the parents created the children and copyright is automatically granted upon creation...

    Are the children's children then derivative works?

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 6:10pm

    Re: First owner = author = not chimp

    In the case of a film, blah blah blah...

    I noticed you didn't cite any authoritative source for your "quote".

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 6:21pm

    Re:

    ...the trainers own the rights to the finished products

    Err, just exactly which "rights" are you referring to?

    they're actions can be considered either completely random or programmed in some way.

    In which case there is no "creative element" and the work is not eligible for copyright under US law. So again I ask, to which "rights" are you referring?

    If an animal is thought of as a software program that creates art explicitly through human training (ie programming) then the trainers (ie programmers) would receive most of the credit, followed by a smaller proportion of credit going to anyone who had a hand in the creative works.

    OK, now I see that you're just making stuff up. Copyright does not work on percentages like that.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 6:30pm

    Re:

    Who own the chimps?

    Ah, so if I own a camera, then I own the copyright on anything made with it, huh?

    Who gave permission for them to do this sort of thing?

    And if I give someone permission to photograph something, then I own the copyright on the resulting work too, eh?

    It's not hard to figure out who owns the copyright, unless you are trying to be obtuse.

    With the legal theories you've presented so far, you seem to be trying to be "an idiot".

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 6:34pm

    Re:

    You're not a lawyer are you ?

     

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    maniac in a speedo, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 6:55pm

    "If A Video Is Filmed By Chimps... Who Owns The Copyright?"

    You mean human camera operators aren't mildly evolved chimps already?

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 7:08pm

    Re: Re:

    WTG idiot, totally missing the point.

    Go back to your school work.

     

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    ORCO, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 7:13pm

    video is filmed every day in hollywood by...chimps

    just think planet of the apes
    haha

     

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    Bubba Gump (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 7:28pm

    perhaps...

    The chimps were working PRO BONOBO?

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 7:33pm

    Re:

    What if I strap a camera onto a mentally handicapped person, then what?

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 7:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Stop telling people what to do.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 7:36pm

    Re:

    Wait...so, if, say:

    1) The Zoo owns the chimps
    2) A trainer taught them to use the camera
    3) A film producer created the idea

    Which one owns the copyright?

     

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  50.  
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    Luke StackWalker, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 7:51pm

    Re: Chimps aren't so stupid

    Shouldn't your comment

    "Unlike humans, chimps aren't so stupid as to create laws that prevent them copying each other."

    actually read

    "Unlike humans, chimps aren't so stupid as to create laws that prevent them from APEing each other."

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 8:27pm

    Re:

    You have no regard for animal rights. If humans can get copyright why can't animals get that same right? Those animal right activists will not be very happy with you.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 8:29pm

    Re: Re:

    See, it's called copyRIGHT, animals have rights too, hence the term animal RIGHTS.

     

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    Different AC, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 9:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hey, TAM, you're the one that can't properly couch an argument with your supporting evidence or logical analysis.

    And if the Chimps are wild, who owns them? NO ONE! Yay! So who owns the copyright? Logically....? NO ONE!

     

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    AJ (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 9:53pm

    There might be related precedent ...

    I'm no lawyer and wouldn't know how to start searching for such things, but I suspect the legal status of works made by owned animals might be similar to that of works created by owned people, meaning by slaves. Of course there may never have been any such cases, but if there were they might give some guidance...

     

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    The eejit (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 12:17am

    It belongs to the anarchists.

    Well, either that or the camera, I'm not sure which.

     

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    Lisae Boucher (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 12:26am

    Let's think... The chimps were given a camera to film things. They were trained even for this purpose. And in return for sweets and praises, they started to do their work. So it's work-for-hire which included additional education in return for the work done by the chimps. So the chimps don't own it.

    It was made by the BCC but the BCC isn't a private company. It's a government-owned institution and technically, everything they produce belongs to the British people. So, the British people own the copyrights and apparently, they're free to share it with other British people.

     

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    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 12:37am

    Re: Re: Chimps aren't so stupid

    :-)

     

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    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 12:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Copyright is so called because it represents the suspension of the individual's natural right to copy - in order to grant this as a transferable privilege attached to 'original' works - for the ulterior benefit of the press (monopoly) and the state (against sedition).

    So actually, both monkeys and humans are born with the natural right to copy each other. It's just that we're stupid enough to allow ourselves to be brainwashed into believing that copying each other is not only morally wrong but detrimental to mankind's progress.

     

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    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 12:51am

    Re: perhaps...

    Nice! :-)

     

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  60.  
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    Chunky Vomit, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 12:55am

    Re: Re: Hmm...

     

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  61.  
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    Yosi, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 1:40am

    Re: Re:

    The key question is "who owns the chimps?". So, replying to your concerns:

    >> And if I give someone permission to photograph something ..
    If I _own_ someone, all things that he/she/it produce are mine. Slaves do not own the product. The master does.

     

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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 3:33am

    It is the camera-manufacturer that owns the copyright... After all it's their product that created the work.

     

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  63.  
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    Richard (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 4:12am

    The Answer

    As the original story submitter I've had a little more time to think about this and I think I've got the answer.

    TAM is wrong - it isn't like strapping a camera on your dog - because the trainers are deliberately making every effort NOT to influence the film contents.

    When you look at what the trainers were trying to do (and ignore the amusing but legally dubious idea that the chimps could own the copyright themselves) it is clear that the raw films are experimental data and therefore fall immediately into the public domain.

    The edited films are copyright the editor (and of course the music has its own copyright) - similar to a table of results in an academic journal - where the numbers are PD but the layout isn't.

     

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    a-dub (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 5:34am

    I believe TAM is correct. It certainly is just like strapping a camera on your dog. As many have stated here, the chimps are the property of the zoo just like a dog is the property of its owner. There is no creative difference between a chimp holding a camera with its hands and a dog copping a squat in the back yard with a camera strapped to its back. Either way, the animals are property and property cannot hold a copyright.

    As far as minors are concerned...taken from copyright.gov

    Can a minor claim copyright?
    Minors may claim copyright, and the Copyright Office issues registrations to minors, but state laws may regulate the business dealings involving copyrights owned by minors. For information on relevant state laws, consult an attorney.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 5:35am

    Who cares..

    I bet its crap and I switch off halfway in

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 6:06am

    Re: The Answer

    Because the public domain is the rule and copyright is the exception.

    Nice analysis.

     

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  67.  
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    Jeff (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 6:34am

    This MONKEY Business has to stop!!

    If we don't stop this from happening, the MPAA is going to go bannanas and start flinging their apeshit lawyers around... :-)

     

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  68.  
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    A Dan (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:11am

    Re:

    You're acting as if copyright is based on common sense. It doesn't work that way.

    I can't see how you would believe the rights would go to anyone other than the animal (or nobody) if:
    1. It has free will in pointing the camera, and intentionally points it at things.
    2. It hasn't deliberately signed over the rights to its creation.

    The issue that we're running into is that chimps aren't total idiots. They're not robots and they're not obedient dogs; they were deliberately pointing the camera at things.

     

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    hegemon13, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:21am

    Whoever owns the chimps

    This is a pretty silly and pointless article. The same person owns it who would own a movie shot by a human cameraman. The copyright for a movie is almost never owned by the cameraman. It's owned by the director or the producer, or sometimes both. Chimps don't have to sign contracts, and you know it. It's this kind of silly, poorly thought-out article that gives fuel to the Anti-Mikes of the world.

    Mike - just stick to the legitimate issues and don't risk soiling your integrity with articles like this.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:49am

    Re: Re: Chimps aren't so stupid

    Monkey see, monkey do.

    Human sue.

     

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    btr1701 (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:58am

    Legality

    It's actually simple from a legal standpoint. Animals are considered property under the law, so whoever owns the animal owns whatever the animal produces. No different than a farmer that owns whatever his land produces.

     

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  72.  
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    Richard (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 8:09am

    Re:

    There is no creative difference between a chimp holding a camera with its hands and a dog copping a squat in the back yard with a camera strapped to its back.

    The difference is in the intent of the people who organised this experiment.

    If you strap a camera on an animal as an experiment in avante gard art then you own a copyright. If you do it as part of an experiment in animal behaviour then it is not a creative work at all but lab results - and therefore part of the public domain.

    Its exactly the same as Jackson Pollock's random paint splashings - which are art because he says so - as opposed to the random splashings of a paint manufacturer researching the properties of paint - which are public domain.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 8:10am

    If the chimps were unpaid, the use of these chimps for this project would count as "slave labor". Human rights against slavery don't extend to animals, so there is no legal precedent against it. Harkening back to when slavery was legal, any thing that a slave produced was the property of the slave owner, so it would seem that the owner of the chimps is legally entitled to it.

    If they were being compensated in any other way, such as getting lots of nice things to eat in exchange for their participation, then it could qualify as a work for hire, and would still would not be able to claim ownership of the work.

    Either way, copyright does not get assigned to the chimpanzees.

     

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  74.  
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    Richard (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 8:16am

    Re: Legality

    The purpose of the activity is "providing new information on how chimps like to see the world" that makes the output lab data and therefore public domain irrespective ofany other issues.

    If the exact same thing were done as an artistic exercise then the products would be copyright - but since it's science a different set of rules applies.

     

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  75.  
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    a-dub (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 8:46am

    Re: Whoever owns the chimps

    70+ Comments...must be something good about it. F the anti-mikes.

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Jim Ryan, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Corporations

    It is like asking a mathematician to cite to something that says "2+2=4."


    Actually, you ask one to, they could: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principia_Mathematica

     

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  77.  
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    Matt (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re: Corporations

    Well... no. Despite PETA's propaganda, animals do not have recognized rights (except in the loose sense that any responsibility in a person creates a correspondent and correlative right in another - but even that is probably a stretch, because the animals do not have the right to enforce the responsibility). Instead, there is a prohibition on certain conduct against animals. To say that implies a right is a bit like saying your house has a right to avoid most nocturnal intrusions.

    Anyhow, for better or worse the animals here are likely instrumentalities of the producer, who retains the rights.

     

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  78.  
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    Matt (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 11:49am

    Re: Re: Hmm...

    I don't think so. I don't think a chimp can be an "author" at all, at least under US copyright law. Initial ownership vests in the author or authors of a work. 17 USC 201(a).

    I think it is irrelevant whether or not the chimp can have IP rights. The question is only whether the chimp is an "author". I am not aware of authority defining "author" (except in the "works made for hire" jurisprudence, which I take to be irrelevant,) but I'd wager a court would hold that a chimp isn't one.

     

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  79.  
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    Matt (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re: Legality

    This assumes, first, that it is the _scientist's_ judgment as to what is happening that determines whether the work is in the public domain. Substitute humans for chimps and that certainly would not be the case: if a lab gave a bunch of people cameras and told them to shoot footage for a day, the lab might think the footage is raw experimental data but the movie-makers would still be entitled to a copyright in it (to them, it was a creative work). One of many reasons it is wise to have a release and pre-assignment of rights as part of your participation agreement.

    The difference is, here the individuals shooting footage are likely not "authors" under the copyright law. So no copyright vested in them upon creation. The "authors" are likely the researchers.

    Incidentally, I do not think that intention matters. The reason raw experimental data passes into the public domain is not because the researcher has no creative intent, it is because the data has no creative content (and, thus, is not an appropriate subject matter for copyright). Certainly the creative and original interpretation of the data is subject to copyright. Here (arguably), the raw experimental data is a list of things at which chimps pointed cameras, not the recording of what they saw when they did so.

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 12:46pm

    Does copyright only apply to humans?

    This brings up an interesting point. Are non-humans protected by copyright? Hypothetically, if an artificially-engineered human or a software/hardware-based artificial intelligence were to create a work of art by himself/herself/itself, would they have the rights to their work, or would their creators/parents/owners?

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 2:02pm

    Re: The Anti-Mike

    It clearly not as easy as you think, otherwise you would have remember that animals do not have legal rights or powers.

     

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  82.  
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    Richard (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 4:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Legality

    The point is that the intent CAN alter the nature of what is done. The Corel case turned to some extent on the admitted intent of the photographer NOT to add anything.

    If the chimps were replaced by humans then consent forms would have to be signed - which would clarify the copyright status.

    The "authors" may be the researchers - but as a work of science their activity does not fall into the categories that are protected by copyright - in a way it isn't even public domain - (that would imply that copyright was possible) It's simply "not applicable".

     

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  83.  
    identicon
    benito, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 9:04am

    who can we sue then...

    a parallel question: who then can we drag to court if a bunch of chimps filmed anyone of us in a compromising way?

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The key question is "who owns the chimps?".

    Who says? That actually doesn't seem to matter at all without a legal basis.

    If I _own_ someone, all things that he/she/it produce are mine. Slaves do not own the product. The master does.


    If you'd care to point the part part of copyright law that assigns copyright to a slave's owner, I'd like to read it.

     

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  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 7:52pm

    Re: Does copyright only apply to humans?

    This brings up an interesting point. Are non-humans protected by copyright? Hypothetically, if an artificially-engineered human or a software/hardware-based artificial intelligence were to create a work of art by himself/herself/itself, would they have the rights to their work, or would their creators/parents/owners?

    Based on DNA and cell count due to microbial colonization, most so-called "humans" are mostly non-human. So do they still have rights to copyright? Don't forget that these microbes can also influence thought and thus the creative process.

     

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  86.  
    identicon
    Francis Auclair-Dubois, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 9:09pm

    universal copyright?

    Human think he's big enough to have create concept that are applicable to anything in this world, but it's not universal. Copyright are only apllyable to humans because only humans approve and have established what is a copyright. If you want to apply copyright with a chip's idea, you must ask himself!

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    CB, Jan 30th, 2010 @ 10:03am

    The lawful caretaker(s) of the chimps owns the copyright.

     

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  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2010 @ 10:30am

    Re:

    The lawful caretaker(s) of the chimps owns the copyright.

    Unsubstantiated statement.

     

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  89.  
    identicon
    joe, Jan 30th, 2010 @ 1:47pm

    did congress make another movie?

     

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  90.  
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    Japz Lapeno, Jan 31st, 2010 @ 1:22am

    What use is copyright to a chimp? That would be a better question. Because so far as I can tell, copyright is a concept of human greed. "You can't use what I made without MY permission because I made it." And from a legal standpoint, the chimps have no right to ownership to begin with. So from there, you'd go to the human or humans most directly involved with the filming, which would be whoever was handling the monkeys. And after that, it depends on who signed what. But I assume that since it is airing on BBC, all that would have been settled. So if anyone can track down the lawyers that were involved with all that, we can get an answer to this question and put an end to this foolishly speculative debate.

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2010 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Re: First owner = author = not chimp

     

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  92.  
    identicon
    Eric Skye, Jan 31st, 2010 @ 5:45pm

    Monkeys

    Working for free?! This is an outrage. I'm starting a labor union, the Monkey Movie-Maker's of America, and I'm gonna put George Bush in charge. Half of these monkeys can't even afford to purchase bananas for their family, let alone cars or houses. If monkeys are ever going to be equal, we're going to need to compensate them for their blood, sweat, and tears. This is so oppressive, free the monkeys!

     

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  93.  
    identicon
    Gary, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 7:33pm

    Monkey

    Do monkeys cry? I was just wondering.

    Anyway, some people say we evolved from monkeys so maybe the siblings of the siblings of the siblings etc, etc, etc, will some day evolve and they will own the copyrights to the film their ancestors made. Just a thought

     

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  94.  
    identicon
    Jon, Feb 22nd, 2011 @ 12:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Corporations

    Actually mathematicians can provide a proof of 2+2=4. Addition, subtraction and all the other obvious things we do with numbers are part of a branch of mathematics called number theory. Number theory has axioms and proofs just like every other theory!

     

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  95.  
    identicon
    the SASS Man, Dec 5th, 2013 @ 11:34pm

    Copyright

    This subject is a tricky one, but at the heart of it s the concept of OWNERSHIP. If these are captive monkeys, then I suggest that the "Owner" of the copy s he "Owner" of the monkeys that made it. If these were wild monkeys, then the owner is the government of whatever country in which the monkeys reside, pure and simple.

    Now...in America, the Government CANNOT own Copy, that fact is spelled out explicitly under US Copyright Law. Any monkeys residing any form of government-controlled zoo or shelter, including state and manciple zoos, would AUTOMATICALLY enter into the Public Domain, no questions asked, and no argument possible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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