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First off today, Abrar Al-Heeti at CNet reports that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has heard the “monkey selfie” case and appeared to be very skeptical of PETA’s arguments that a monkey can hold copyright and that it’s PETA who should protect it.
The issue centers around photographer David Slater who, while traveling to Indonesia, had his camera used briefly by a macaque monkey that snapped a now-iconic selfie. The photo became an instant hit online but the copyright status of the photo became an immediate question. Most felt the photo was public domain but Slater, claiming he did most of the work in the image, felt he should control the copyright.
However, it was PETA who took he image to court, claiming that the monkey himself should hold copyright in the image and that they should serve as guardian of it. Unfortunately for PETA, the lower court dismissed it noting that the U.S. Copyright Act requires a copyright holder to be a human and that PETA’s connection to the animal was not strong enough to be its next friend. PETA appealed that decision but the 9th Circuit appeared to be equally skeptical to PETA’s arguments, raising similar questions during the hearing.
Next up today, Kaja Whitehouse and Natalie O’Neill at the New York Post report that Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of recent Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton and her husband, President Bill Clinton, is being sued for copyright infringement in her book She Persisted.
The lawsuit was filed by author Christopher Janes Kimberley who claims that he sent a pitch for his illustrated kids book A Heart is the Part That Makes Boys And Girls Smart to Penguin Random House only for them to pass the idea along to Clinton. Kimberley’s book focuses on 13 women from the U.S. who changed the world and Clinton’s book features at least three of the same quotes from historical women.
Lawsuit or not, Clinton’s book is currently a New York Times best seller. Neither Clinton nor Penguin Random House had any comment on the lawsuit.
Finally today, Vladimir Kozlov at Billboad reports that Yandex, commonly referred to as “the Russian Google” has placed restrictions on its music service that prevents the sharing of user-generated songs.
Two months again Yandex.Music added a feature where users could upload tracks and share them with the world. Rightsholders immediately expressed concern over the feature, pointing to a similar battle they fought with VKonakte, Russia’s largest social network, over music sharing.
Yandex, seemingly in response to those concerns, disabled that feature making it so that users could only listen to their uploaded tracks. However, Yandex says that he move was not in response to piracy piracy concerns, calling the stoppage “temporary” and saying that the feature itself is still being tested.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.