Cage silenced, monkey blocked

Jan 06, 2016 11:44 pm
Sometimes copyright cases are more philosophical than other lawsuits. Take two recent cases, one about a monkey's rights over a photograph, and the other about who owns the rights to silence. On Jan. 6 U.S. District Judge William Orrick ruled against the People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals, who were suing on behalf of a 6-year-old monkey, Naruto. Photographer David Slater handed Naruto his camera in Indonesia in 2011, and the monkey took the camera, and snapped a selfie. The judge ruled that Naruto does not have any copyrights. "I'm not the person to weigh into this," Orrick said. "This is an issue for Congress and the president. If they think animals should have the right of copyright they're free, I think, under the Constitution, to do that." In November Business Insider reported about the case of DJ Detweiler, and how Soundcloud took down his cover version of John Cage's "4'33" composition. The song is famously silent, although DJ Detweiler's version's silence was, "was not a track of silence and was taken down because it included Justin Bieber's What Do You Mean without the rights holder's permission," according to Soundcloud. D.J. Detweiler told Business Insider that it was meant, "to start a conversation about copyright for fun," saying the take down was part of the performance.