By brocs1, Jul 17 2017 01:02PM
Copyright is arguably one of the most difficult forms of intellectual property to trace within the UK. The primary reason for this being that in the UK, there is no register for copyright and this intellectual property right arises automatically. Copyright arises in different forms of creation, including literary, musical and artistic works and will subsist with the author 70 years from their death.
A story which has brought into question the depth of this intellectual property right, involves photographer David Slater, who currently finds himself opposed to the animal rights group PETA in the US Courts. David is the man behind the famous monkey selfie, which quickly found itself amongst the many memes on the internet. The monkey, Naruto, is the subject of the photo, and pressed the shutter button himself. PETA are now bringing a claim against David for use of the copyright in the photograph. PETA’s claim is based on the contested issue that as Naruto captured the image himself, he is the owner of the copyright in the final image and is therefore entitled to any profits generated therein. PETA’s claim is for £15,000.00 which has been generated by the picture. Although this case is being heard under the jurisdiction of San Francisco, it raises the question of if an animal is capable of holding intellectual property rights, and if so, who can legally represent them.
This is not the first time the question of who can legally own copyright has been raised, as the development of AI’s (artificial intelligence) has also brought this issue to the attention of academics in the area.
Summerfield Browne Solicitors have offices in London, Birmingham, Cambridge, Oxford and Market Harborough, Leicester.