The Signpost

Editor's note: This image posted without the consent of the author, photographer, or monkey.
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And, significantly, it is not the case that we must use every image that we legally may, or arguably may; surely we are free to consider what is fair and ethical, and not merely what is lawful, in making these decisions.

Very well-said; I do recall that Slater said that he was previously making some money off the photograph before the debacle. There's really no point forcing a sole photographer to fight a court battle over a scenario that will likely have no impact on copyright use on Wikipedia at all. (Not to mention that the photograph itself isn't exactly essential) It just seems like the Wikimedia Foundation pushing its weight around and ignoring the human in the situation. Opencooper (talk) 19:58, 24 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]

(ec) There are various things that can be said:

  • Firstly this is a funny and newsworthy story.
  • Secondly (AIUI) Slater did initially claim that the photographs had no creative input from him, and the Commons decision was made on this basis.
  • Thirdly that regardless of Slater's claim of lost income, he has doubtless gained an inordinate amount of publicity, and indeed may well find or have found people prepared to pay for "monkey selfie" stories and interviews which would otherwise never have happened.
  • Fourthly that Commons would do well, ethically, to mark the images as "copyright contested" at the very least. They can still be used on "monkey selfie" under US law as fair use, and probably under British law too. I doubt that they are used or any other purpose on WMF projects.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 20:02, 24 January 2016 (UTC).[reply]

I wonder if this makes a difference to Slater's position. "€˜Until I hear from the monkey'€™s lawyers, I will stick to the belief that I own the copyright"…. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 20:50, 24 January 2016 (UTC).[reply]
Once again, it did amuse me to no end about the press reaction to the latest judgement. A complete and utter misunderstanding about what the judgement, or indeed the case, stated. Instead of reporting that the court handed down a judgement saying that a monkey couldn't hold copyright, most media did a half-assed job and someone came to the conclusion that therefore the copyright was therefore held by Slater. This wasn't what was said at all, only that it wasn't held by a monkey. I'm glad someone addressed this misconception, as it isn't in the media's best interest to report "the status quo remained the same". Miyagawa (talk) 20:20, 24 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]

(1) acquired a camera, (2) studied photography and become a photographer, (3) decided to use the camera to take photographs of wildlife,
None of this are really relevant to copyright
(4) decided to bring the camera to a particular location in Indonesia on a particular date,
Possible but I'm not sure how significant the position of the sun is in this case.
(5) selected a particular image or creature to be photographed,
He didn't. There are a bunch of monkeys and at least 2 animal species in the photo series.
(6) set up, configured, or adjusted any of the settings on the camera,
That argument needs to be handled with care or you end up with canon holding the copyright. If you look at these two images [1][2] its possible that they were adjusted in post but to me it looks like the camera firmware trying to adjust to a large black object entering the frame from the right.
(7) had any knowledge that if he pressed the button, the result would be a photograph, much less (8) had any knowledge that if he pressed the button, the result would be a photograph of himself, or even (9) knew what a camera is, what a button is, or what a photograph is.
These create the problem that it would suggest babies or people with limited knowledge wouldn't hold the copyright on photos they took.
FWIW I'd argue it in terms of the creativity involved in post. The images have been cropped. Probably rotated and if he didn't play we the colour curves Mr slater would be rather an unusual photographer. Although if he did have the camera set to motorwind (normally motordrive isn't it?) as his lawyer suggests its possible the camera wasn't shooting in raw which implies less editing. And yes this was the logic under which I deleted the image in the first place.

In terms of deleting it because he asked he's not doing it to be annoying and we have other images in which case I tend to lean in the direction of deleting the image.©Geni (talk) 21:39, 24 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
They took "hundreds of shots" - which supports the "selection" argument but undermines the "settings" argument.
I am sure Slater is not doing it "to be annoying" but I am not so sure that he's not doing it for the publicity.
All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 02:01, 25 January 2016 (UTC).[reply]

I blogged about this issue, from my standpoint as both a photographer and animal rights activist, after reading about it in the Signpost last year. I still believe that neither Slater nor PETA (the group filing the lawsuit, which I basically detest and have no affiliation with) were acting entirely in good faith. But the reasoning in this article for ultimately removing the photos from Commons is reasonable and persuasive. Funcrunch (talk) 21:41, 24 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you for sharing that. Like you, I'm no fan of PETA, but the tone of the Signpost article left an unpleasant taste in my mouth. Why Mr Matetsky could not write the same piece without the gleeful mockery is a mystery to me. Josh Milburn (talk) 22:12, 24 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
@Josh Milburn: I'm holding off on responding to most comments here and in my userspace for a few days, until I can reply to all the thoughts in an organized manner, but I did want to address this by saying that no "gleeful mockery" was intended. I do think the Naruto lawsuit was misguided and its outcome utterly predictable, but frankly what I wrote about it was probably on the bland side compared to a lot of the commentary elsewhere (and we still haven't seen the judge's written opinion). Newyorkbrad (talk) 16:55, 25 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
@Newyorkbrad: I can agree (assuming, which I think is an open question, that they hoped to win) that PETA's actions were misguided and the outcome predictable. That said, I'm not really sure what you could have intended other than mockery by writing the following: "Indeed, a defendant's brief in the case put it beautifully: The words 'a monkey, an animal-rights organization and a primatologist walk into federal court to sue for infringement of the monkey’s claimed copyright' belong in a comedy sketch, not a copyright action; and 'monkey see, monkey sue' is not good law." Josh Milburn (talk) 17:27, 25 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]

This is spot-on correct and, if anything, is on the conservative side. This is no different than a live sporting event. Slater rented the venue and photographed wildlife with the explicit intent of creating photographs for his business. If this was at a football match or baseball game and the monkey pressed the record button, the rights to the recording are not magically transformed into "public domain." The match in question is unscripted just like the photo in dispute but there is no dispute that the account of the match or game belongs to the team or league regardless of who presses the record button. "My monkey took the photo so that means I have the right to broadly copy and release it" is not going to fly and I expect the Premier League, MLB and NFL will all agree that venue and intent are much more important than outcome. Their amicus briefs will strongly favor the rights of Mr. Slater to control the intellectual property that resulted from his endeavor and not the "public domain" argument put forth by Commons. A "monkey defense" will be quashed as the monkey is not the one responsible for unlicensed distribution. --DHeyward (talk) 04:15, 25 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]

I don't think your scenario works. If your monkey takes a photo of a copyrighted performance, then the copyright of the performance is still in place. Neither you nor the monkey have the rights to the performance. Unless the copyrighted performance appears only de minimis in your monkey's photo, then neither you nor the monkey can copy it or release it at all. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:17, 29 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
@WhatamIdoing: you made my point. What makes it a "copyrighted performance" when it's an unscripted live sporting event? Those that argue that "monkey selfie" can't be copyrighted miss the fact that the entire venue was in fact hired and commissioned. No one contests that Major League Baseball owns the copyright to its unscripted games (I suppose it's a part of work for hire law). The same is true for animal circus acts done under the umbrella of Barnum and Bailey. These are easily recognized copyright holders that have no creative input themselves yet through their commission, creative works were made and they hold the copyright regardless of what transpires. Mr. Slater rented the zoo for his photo shoot. If part of that is a monkey pushing a button, it doesn't change the underlying commission just as it doesn't change the nature of an MLB copyright or a Barnum and Bailey copyright. Mr. Slater's rights as copyright holder are just as strong as MLB's or Barnum and Bailey's claim of copyright. I can't imagine any media producing company that relies on "work for hire" copyright law being sympathetic to WMF's "public domain" claim because of what transpired in a commissioned venue. MLB, NFL, NBA, Premier League, etc make their money through copyrighting a "work for hire" that is unscripted, undirected and devoid of the copyright holders creativity in venues they rent - just as Mr. Slater does. --DHeyward (talk) 06:37, 29 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I don't know about that one. In National Basketball Ass'n v. Motorola, Inc. the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit "noted that the broadcasts of the NBA games, not the games themselves, are entitled to copyright protection." I expect they'd say the same about MLB games. Anomie 13:43, 29 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
That's the fixed form (or a fixed form). The lesson is that MLB owns it, not the person that pushed record on the cameras commissioned by MLB to record it, not the director or producer or any other entity. MLB's rights to the recording are not void regardless of whether the camera operator was a human, an animal or a robot. The cameraman does not own it as he was hired as part of the venue. --DHeyward (talk) 20:32, 30 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Wasn't your point that someone else unaffiliated with MLB couldn't record the game and have copyright in their own recording because the game itself was somehow copyrighted? Now you're arguing work-for-hire, which no one has been discussing here. Anomie 15:34, 1 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]
It's still my point that MLB is the only entity with copyright. Work for hire comes into play only because they are authorized/employed by MLB to record the account of the game and they have artistic input into which camera to use, where to point the camera, etc. You aren't arguing that the person that presses record on the DVR or films the game in the stadium has copyright, are you? Listen to sports talk radio show or ESPN during the SuperBowl. You'll get updates but no one except the media outlet contracted with the NFL will be giving play-by-play. They can't watch the game on TV and a play-by-play account because it's copyrighted. --DHeyward (talk) 22:51, 1 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Being scripted isn't a necessary precondition for copyright status; it if were, then an improv performance couldn't be copyrighted. A circus performance is indeed copyrighted, and they are in fact tightly scripted.
The legal status of sporting events may depend upon country; I intentionally said "performance" rather than "game" ("If your monkey takes a photo of a copyrighted performance...") because I'm uncertain about your assertion that everything about a sporting event is copyrightable. Distributing photos from an American sporting event might be a straightforward (ticket-based) contract violation rather than a copyright issue. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:22, 29 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
It's copyrighted as soon as it's in a fixed form. Whether the animals follow the script or not is irrelevant. It's copyrighted by the commissioning body that paid to produce it regardless of how creative the animals in the show get. The entire claim that the monkey selfie is public domain is that the elements that make it copyrightable were created solely by the monkey. Yet, it's fairly obvious that copyright copyright is extended to entities that commission works regardless of how much input they have on creativity. That copyright exists whether the camera operator is a human, an animal or robot. Slater commissioned the zoo for his exclusive use to exclusively observe the monkeys. --DHeyward (talk) 20:32, 30 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Err, just because Slater may have rented the zoo doesn't mean he automatically owns the copyright to anything that any other party might do on the premises. Even if that other party is a monkey. By your logic, the photos taken at a wedding would be owned by whoever rented the hall, but then why does the contract with the photographer specifically lay out the terms of the work-for-hire relationship if the renter of the hall already owns the copyright? Anomie 15:39, 1 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Speaking as a photographer who has shot weddings professionally: In the USA, the photographer owns the copyright on the photos they take unless they specifically waive that right in a contract. i.e. it's not automatically "work for hire". Owning that copyright doesn't mean the photographer can do whatever they want with the photos, however. In order to use photos of the happy couple to promote their work, or in order to license the photos for commercial or unrestricted use (directly or through a stock agency), they need to get a signed model release. Some photographers build this into their contract.
I don't what the laws are about copyright in other countries. But as I mentioned elsewhere in this discussion, if the photos are shot on private property, the property owner might also be able to require a property release to be signed in order for the photos to be used for commercial or promotional work. Funcrunch (talk) 16:50, 1 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Firstly, a monkey is not a "party" to anything. They are property of the zoo. Slater rented the zoo and had rights to photograph the animals and it was exclusive. How he obtained the photos is largely irrelevant (high speed, multi-shot, robot, timer, motion sensor, assistant, or "monkey"). Secondly, a wedding photography contract can specify a number of things including payment. It's presumed though, if the photographer is paid to produce photos of the guests, the copyrights is held by the person who paid - whether the photographer has to provide the photographs in specified format is different than who owns the copyright and they would likely be infringing copyright if they used pictures that were paid for by another party. The person working the center field camera for Fox Sports does not have a claim to any copyright of the game, even if the camera catches something eclectic. A contract can spell out different terms just as an employment contract can specify terms, but the presumption is that the employer owns the copyright. A software engineer hired by Microsoft and writes code in exchange for salary is presumed to give up copyright to his employer. The copyright held by the employer restricts how the employee can use it and restricts how others can use it. The point of all of this is that Slater paid for the rights to record the monkeys in whatever fashion he chose. He is the only entity that can claim copyright (monkeys can't claim it, can't hold it). Arguing that the monkey is a "party" to a copyright claim has already been tossed. Slater, however, has as strong a claim to the copyright just as MLB does to a film of a game (e.g. MLB's claim of copyright trumps even a human beings claim when the human being arguably has artistic control - the cameraman and director do not hold any claim of copyright so even weaker claims like "the robot" or "the monkey" have no merit. Now what exactly did MLB do to acquire copyright? Nothing they did was creative or artistic - rather it's about hiring and venue). The outcome of what is photographed and how the photo shoot evolves after Slater has already staged the venue, equipment, settings, etc, is still his property just as filming an unexpected homerun or fan running on the field, or a robotic camera recording a curveball, is the property of MLB - the employees need not "release" it for every game as it's already established law and the venue, robots and animals can't hold copyright. It would be quite the stretch to say an MLB game is public domain without a very strong case being made against such a claim. Certainly the argument "MLB didn't push the record button, it was John Smith in centerfield, so MLB has no rights" would fail. Arguing that the camera operator being a monkey gives a stronger copyright interest to the monkey than a human operator is absurd. The monkey has no more rights than the camera itself, let alone more rights than the human operator. --DHeyward (talk) 22:51, 1 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Re "It's presumed though, if the [wedding] photographer is paid to produce photos of the guests, the copyrights is held by the person who paid" - this is a popular misconception in the USA, but it's not true, per my comment above. Though as I said, owning copyright does not mean the photographer can use the photos however they wish. This has nothing to do with Slater (the human), Naruto (the monkey), or major league baseball; I'm just pointing out how copyright of photography actually works in my country. Funcrunch (talk) 01:08, 2 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]
It depends. Ask any photographer for your local newspaper who owns the copyright of the photos they take under employment. It belongs to their employer. Most wedding photographers are freelance, though, and sell a package through a contract that outlines whether it is a work for hire. See US Code 17 U.S.C. § 101 and our article. If your "wedding photo company" had employees, those employees would not enjoy copyright holder status. It also goes more in-depth regarding copyright vs. moral rights. --DHeyward (talk) 03:07, 2 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]

This is an excellent article. Combined with the automated harvesting of Flickr images whose creators (possibly inadvertently) posted under CC licenses but never authorised Wikimedia to republish - including many of an obviously personal nature and/or with no encyclopaedic value, there are real issues with the way Wikimedia treats photographers' moral rights. Nick-D (talk) 23:02, 25 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]

  • "Wikimedia should not be in the business of perpetuating bizarre and unnecessary disputes over rights ownership" We're pretty much stuck in this bizarre dispute no matter what happens. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 05:30, 28 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Some questions

In particular, it certainly was not a crested macaque monkey who (1) acquired a camera, (2) studied photography and become a photographer, (3) decided to use the camera to take photographs of wildlife, (4) decided to bring the camera to a particular location in Indonesia on a particular date, (5) selected a particular image or creature to be photographed, (6) set up, configured, or adjusted any of the settings on the camera, (7) had any knowledge that if he pressed the button, the result would be a photograph, much less (8) had any knowledge that if he pressed the button, the result would be a photograph of himself, or even (9) knew what a camera is, what a button is, or what a photograph is. It was Slater who did, or had, or knew, each of these things.

Do (1), (2), (3), (4), (7), (8), and (9) actually matter as far as copyright ownership? A lot of sources say no. Nor does it matter that Mr. Slater "slowly built a trustful, friendly relationship" with the monkeys.

(5) probably matters, since that does come under the "creative input" that copyright requires. But isn't the point of the whole "monkey selfie" situation that Mr. Slater didn't actually select a particular creature to be photographed, the monkey did? He went to where monkeys were with a camera, yes, but the early interviews (before this blew up into a huge copyright battle) report Mr. Slater as saying that "[h]e left the equipment for a few moments and when he returned one of the creatures was, well, monkeying around with it."[3][4] His story seems to have changed since those early interviews, of course, claiming that he planned for the monkey to snap the picture and that he arranged everything to the point that the monkey just activated a remote trigger, versus the early interviews where it was played as accidental that the monkey grabbed and activated an unattended camera and fortuitous that a few of the hundreds of photos turned out well.

And (6) might matter, but from some cursory searching that seems to be a question that has been debated back and forth in a lot of legal battles as to what extent adjusting settings on the camera (#6, which Mr. Slater presumably did) versus arranging the subject, framing the image, and choosing the moment to snap the picture (#5, which Mr. Slater didn't do) matter. This could be compared to art by elephants: someone chose the paints and brushes and elephant and put them all together (#6), yes, but the elephant actually created it (#5).

Another thing to consider would be whether whatever cropping or digital manipulation Mr. Slater might have done to the raw photographs to produce the final images released are sufficient creative input for copyright protection. I suspect that really answering that would require that the originals versus the edited images would have to be submitted as evidence at some point, at which point we could take the originals before Mr. Slater's edits and restart the rest of the debate.

OTOH, a lot of the debate here seems to really be about some sort of "moral" right rather than actual legal right, despite being discussed as if it were a legal right. And there we're well into the realm of opinions rather than facts. Anomie 22:19, 24 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]

The claim that this is a trivial issue we should let go is dangerous: If a photographer has rights even with no creative decisions, Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. would surely be wrong. And that would affect thousands of images. So, yes, it's probably worth defending that line in the sand, given what ignoring it opens up challenge to. Adam Cuerden (talk) 23:13, 24 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]

He rented the venue which is a creative decision, not happenstance. How does this differ from an unscripted sporting event? Is "without the express written consent of Major League Baseball" a meaningless term if a monkey hit the record button? Is it then allowed to upload the "monkey recorded game" under "free content" because a monkey hit record? No one knew the outcome before the monkey hit record yet we very clearly recognize the copyright by MLB mostly out of venue. --DHeyward (talk) 15:50, 25 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Nope copyright doesn't exist until something appears in a fixed form. If a monkey managed to record in a stadium then there would be no copyright. In practice sporting leagues rely on controlling what kind of cameras if any can be taken into their stadia.©Geni (talk) 20:38, 25 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Sports stadiums are also usually private property, and thus can require a signed property release in order for a photo taken there to be sold or displayed for promotional use. This restriction would seem to apply even in the extremely unlikely case that the monkey were ruled the holder of the copyright. (IANAL, just going from the copyright law research I did as a professional photographer.) Funcrunch (talk) 21:20, 25 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I don't believe that is correct. For example, a radio station cannot give play by play if they don't have an agreement with the copyright owner (i.e. MLB). They can't watch it on TV and recite what happens live. They can give updates as fair use, but that's it. A monkey that hits record on a DVR or in the stadium can never be the copyright owner and it would be ludicrous to claim that because the monkey can't hold it, it must be public domain. It would revert to organization that commissioned the work which is MLB. Not even the cameramen at the MLB game own the copyright to their cameras recording because they are commissioned to provide it. Slater commissioned the zoo for the photographs. I believe that the act of commissioning the zoo for photographic works is going to give him strong arguments for copyright and backed by other groups that routinely use venue/commission as their claim. Even humans that push the button in commissioned venues don't own the copyright. --DHeyward (talk) 22:31, 25 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
A lot more than #5 matter. The only obviously non sequitur one is #2. All the rest relate to intent (the "creative decisions" you think are missing but arent), means of production, ownership of the equipment, and setting into motion the events resulting in the photos (more "creative decisions"), all of which are definitely relevant. The cinchers are really ownership of the equipment, intending to do photography of monkeys or their habitat, and setting up the camera such that the monkeys could interact with it in way that could produce photographs. A large amount of art is created by setting up situations to produce something with major elements of serendipity, instead of doing everything manually, and they often include other life forms. The reason there's any debate about this at all is because people without the legal understanding want to make philosophical arguments that are not actually applicable in a legal context. They're moral what-ifs about whether there should, in a just world, be any copyright in such a photo, and if so whether it should belong to the monkey. This is essentially the same as wondering, in the back of the police squad car, whether it should be legal to steal food when you're hungry, as a matter of natural rights. Good luck with that philosophy argument. Heh. Another analogy: It might be wicked-cool if tackling as in American football were added to the baseball rules; but they haven't been, and if you tackle a player on the diamond, you'll be penalized by the umpire (I don't know enough about cricket terms to translate that for British readers, sorry. :-) The nail in the coffin: Animals have some sharply limited legal protections, but they do not have property rights of their own under the law, intellectual or otherwise (if you want to leave you kitty all your money when you die, you have to do it through a carefully arranged trust fund, in which the fund, a legal entity, is technically the property holder). Animals either are property (pets, livestock), or they are natural phenomena (wildlife). Your pants and the pebble in the street do not have property rights either, for the same reason.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  17:13, 25 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Slater's in the right on this, and the behavior of some elements of our community on the matter are shameful

Disclaimer: I'm am not a lawyer. But I worked as a policy analyst amid a team of top-notch public interest intellectual property (fair use), freedom of expression and civil liberties attorneys at a non-profit public interest group for about a decade, so I'm well schooled in this stuff.

There is not a chance in hell that any court will determine that the monkey owns the copyright, nor that there isn't one. The copyright is very clearly that of Slater. This case is totally indistinguishable from an artist creating a painting by dipping worms in different colors of paint and putting them on a canvas (and, yes, that's been done, and the works are not copyrighted by worms).

Per WP:COPYRIGHT, these images should be removed from WMF servers immediately, because our taking and republishing them is unethical, and it opens the foundation to legal action for no real reason other than some editors think the images are nice, and another pack of editors has a kooky version of animal rights advocacy they want to campaign about disruptively. Lots of images are nice, but that doesn't give us the right to steal them, and Wikipedia (along with other WMF projects) must not be used for soapboxing some special-interest.

I'm a very firm supporter of open content, and an opponent of copyright extension and other intellectual property land-grabs by industry (including algorithm, software, and genome patents; and attempts to broadly trademark generic words and common names). But I'm also a strong proponent of not being a big pack of WP:DICKs, ripping off an individual just to try to make a point that is puerile and ignorant, verging on willfully stupid. If anyone thinks this is incivil, see WP:DUCK and WP:SPADE: When you are being a direct threat to the reputation and financial viability of the project, you will be called on it. I think some indefinite blocks are in order for WP:NOTHERE transgression of key legal policies.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  07:44, 25 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Like here, where community consensus follows from discussion, can we stop this bluster and parading around and take your issues to Commons for that discussion and that consensus. Any such discussion here does not resolve the issue, it just looks like a hit job on Commons. If that happened in the reverse there would be an uproar here. So be respectful, take your concerns there. If there is already a significiant community consensus, then respect it and let any legal processes take place to resolve it. — billinghurst sDrewth 11:57, 25 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Because no one likes wikilawyering. Period. The times I've been sucked into one, I always end up needing a long wikibreak. While I normally dislike copyright paranoia, I agree with SMcCandlish. This is just being a dick. If it's by consensus, then it's being a dick by consensus.
Unlike the usual silly things we squabble about in ANI, this time, all these pretend lawyering is having a very real effect on someone's livelihood in real life, not to mention are we seriously okay with using donations in a pointless legal battle? We have multiple images of Celebes crested macaques with compatible licenses, we don't even need it. To me, it looks more like Wikipedia is being used to prove a legal point. A point that is irrelevant to WMF's mission statement. -- OBSIDIANSOUL 15:45, 25 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
(edit conflict) @Billinghurst: That's a False dichotomy; you're obviously a Wikipedian too, and you can find out in seconds that I'm also a Commons editor. This is not a "my project vs. your project" matter at all. If it had been WP's own File namespace where this had played out, I very much would expect Commons users who know anything about intellectual property to have the same critical reaction. There wouldn't be an uproar here; WP gets criticism every day from the whole world, and from inside our own editorial membership, on all sorts of things, so we don't take it very personally. Given the relative editorial userbase, I'm quite certain my comments will have more impact posted here than on Commons. If I go make one post there, that's one. If even 2 users from en.wp read this, agree, and speak up on Commons, I've already doubled my effectiveness by posting it here.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  16:46, 25 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
@Obsidian Soul:: I'm also a firm believer in the Avoid copyright paranoia essay. I actually wrote most of essentially the same core essay, message-wise, about 7 years ago, before I found that one already existed on Meta. Lots of us think WMF's copyright lawyers are far too cautious, in weakly asserting fair use scope, in respecting foreign governmental copyright claims that aren't enforceable against US servers, etc. Advising us to not steal from artists isn't one of WP:OFFICE's faults, though! The legal point is way beyond irrelevant to WMF's mission, it's an abuse of WMF resources to push a super-fringe nonsense position. By the same animal-rights reasoning, if one used oxen to plough a field, all the wheat it grows are the legal property of the cattle. This whole "debate" deserves an alarmed monkey face: (8-O) Heh.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  16:46, 25 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]

We need to hear the monkey's views on this matter. GoodDay (talk) 23:36, 25 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]

In the same vein, we should also ask the camera as there is no difference in the rights of the monkey and the camera. Nobody has sued for camera rights. --DHeyward (talk) 01:01, 26 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Is this intended to be some sort of parody? Why bother running an op-ed and then illustrate it with the monkey-selfie just to point out what Epic fail the entire piece is? Alsee (talk) 11:26, 31 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]

I'm sitting here sipping on a beer and I'm feeling quite uneasy. Was I swindled by the brewer who, according to what I am reading here, merely set the production stage and then processed/packaged the final result? Should I have compensated the yeast directly since they did all of the work? This is quite a moral quandary for me, as I have drank a lot of beer in my life (and no small amount this fine night). In efforts to rectify the situation, I would like to set up a trust fund for the offspring of all those yeast involved - are there any lawyers here who would be willing to advise on how to go about setting up the account? EditorFormerlyKnownAsPuddin' (talk) 04:47, 6 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]


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