Monkeys Aren't People, Too

At least the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals probably doesn’t think so

Self-portrait by the depicted Macaca nigra female: Wikimedia Commons (!!)

In general I like to refrain from predicting how judges will rule, but I feel pretty safe saying that the 9th Circuit will not allow a monkey to sue for copyright infringement.

Sometimes our legal system is both fun and fascinating! Sarah Jeong has an excellent, straightforward, and thorough overview at Motherboard of the “Monkey Selfie” case. The what? I know. Read it. If it were me, I’d give the monkey the copyright just this one time because that smile is perfect, but then again that might set a weird precedent. This is why I’m not a judge. In other monkey trial news, the annual Scopes Trial Festival is this weekend in Dayton, Tennesee, where you can watch a play and then listen to bluegrass music and then head on over to the Monkey Town Brewing Company for some Evolution IPA. Did you know that In addition to being fun, our justice system is great for tourism? The latest debate in Dayton these days is about erecting a bronze statue of Clarence Darrow, the defense attorney in the Scopes trial, because it’s being funded by people who rabidly want to keep bibles out of schools. I just have to wonder: had Naruto been an ape (Hominoidea; Old World tailless anthropoid primates—a superfamily that includes humans) rather than a macaque (Cercopithecidae; Old World monkey), would things be any different?

The Selfie Monkey Goes to the Ninth Circuit