Want to prevent someone from taking copyright on something- have it be made by a monkey

Well, this is both strange and surreal and fascinating: Who Owns A Monkey’s Selfie? No One Can, U.S. Says : The Two-Way : NPR.  Turns out the UC Copyright office says a photo taken by a monkey cannot by copyrighted because apparently copyright is reserved for humans (and I guess human corporations).  NPR implies that an Ars Technica article by David Kravets is what caught their attention as well as that of others.

I wonder – if one could teach a monkey to type maybe one could get them to type up some papers and then nobody could have copyright on them?  What if one wrote a paper where a monkey was a co-author but did not do all the work?  Would that mean one could not transfer copyright to anyone else?  Seems like I should / could include monkeys on all my work.

Author: Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

3 thoughts on “Want to prevent someone from taking copyright on something- have it be made by a monkey”

  1. I like this plan. You could probably get monkeys to play things like FOLDIT (http://fold.it/portal/) – the first publication out of that game had all the players as co-authors. Monkeys are probably still better than computers for some things requiring abstract reasoning (at least for now).


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