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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 06 Aug 2014 (Wednesday) 10:24
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Wikipedia refuses to delete photo as 'monkey owns it'

 
gjl711
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Aug 22, 2014 23:29 |  #181

Charlie wrote in post #17112572 (external link)
that would be unfortunate, but not surprising. A large powerful/influential entity bullying the little guy. Sounds like black rapid.

Wait?? The big guy, Wiki? So Wiki is using it's massive influence to pressure the Federal Gov? Of big guy, the US Copyright Office? Why would they care one way or the other?


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Aug 22, 2014 23:36 |  #182

sandpiper wrote in post #17112576 (external link)
The images published are straight shots, unless major artistic changes have taken place they aren't derivative works. It would need to be a new work, not just having had significant editing. Cutting the monkey out and placing it in a whole new scene, using it as part of a composite image, making a version that looks like a watercolour image would maybe qualify, but a straight shot, even with significant editing, is not a new original artwork. It is simply the original work with adjusted contrast, exposure, WB, etc., and a different crop to straighten it out most likely. None of which are going to create a new original work.

But, I have said it would be up to a judge to decide, so why are you asking "who am I to say"? It would be up to Slater to prove there is sufficient artistic difference, between the original and his version, for the edited image to be an original artwork in its own right. Having seen the images though, they seem to be the original work, just tidied up and corrected. That is not a derivative work by a very long way. I don't know what the originals are like, that is true. Slater may have changed the background, cloned out a human assistant who actually controlled the monkey, inserted a different face onto the monkey and made other significant changes to create a totally new image. However, if he has, it invalidates his whole story and returns us to him being an attempted fraudster, attempting to make money with untrue claims (which I don't believe to be the case.

You are clearly not going to accept the reality of the law, you have your own ideas of how you would like the law to be and are arguing from that position. You feel that he processed them, therefore they are his copyright. A noble sentiment but one which has no foundation in law. I am basing my position on having read up on copyright law, and my comments are based on what is written in the copyright acts of the UK and the USA (essentially the same on this matter).

Regardless of what you or I believe, the story he has given (and he is the only human witness) places the image, including the processed version, in the public domain according to the law (read the copyright act, it is quite clear on the matter). If he wants to change his story and claim he is actually the creator and not the monkey, then the situation changes. But the whole copyright status hinges on his statement, so unless he changes that ......

you should know based on this forum, that simple images are usually very dull, while his image looks quite polished. Maybe there was perspective distortion done on the monkey to draw out the teeth? How much processing would be considered significant? Creating a layer for the background, then the foreground?

fixing for exposure, color correction, ect.

Heck, the image was already copyrighted, and only a giant like wikipedia can get away with total disregard.


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Aug 23, 2014 05:39 |  #183

Charlie wrote in post #17112590 (external link)
you should know based on this forum, that simple images are usually very dull, while his image looks quite polished. Maybe there was perspective distortion done on the monkey to draw out the teeth? How much processing would be considered significant? Creating a layer for the background, then the foreground?

fixing for exposure, color correction, ect.

None of which would meet the criteria for a derivative work.


Charlie wrote in post #17112590 (external link)
Heck, the image was already copyrighted, and only a giant like wikipedia can get away with total disregard.

Copyrighted to who? You are completely disregarding the copyright act which has already been quoted as to why this image is not copyrighted.

You just keep making random statements that sound, to you, as if they should be the case. You don't seem to care about reading the actual copyright act.

"It's his copyright because it was his camera". No, copyright has nothing to do with camera ownership.

"It's his copyright because he processed the image". No, he would need to create a new work in order to qualify for derivative image rights. Polishing the original work does not create a derivative work.

This is going around in circles, you are just making statements with no foundation and ignoring the actual law when it is quoted to you. The reason why the image is not copyrighted has been explained, yet you still make statements that it was already copyrighted.

Please quote the part of the copyright act that supports your statements.




  
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Aug 23, 2014 09:30 |  #184

Charlie wrote in post #17112590 (external link)
you should know based on this forum, that simple images are usually very dull, while his image looks quite polished. Maybe there was perspective distortion done on the monkey to draw out the teeth? How much processing would be considered significant? Creating a layer for the background, then the foreground?

fixing for exposure, color correction, ect.

Heck, the image was already copyrighted, and only a giant like wikipedia can get away with total disregard.

If repolishing the image was a derivative work, then every time someone here took someone's picture and re-edited it to help them with their process, then the re-edit would be a derivative work.


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Charlie
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Aug 23, 2014 10:00 |  #185

sandpiper wrote in post #17112792 (external link)
None of which would meet the criteria for a derivative work.

Copyrighted to who? You are completely disregarding the copyright act which has already been quoted as to why this image is not copyrighted.

You just keep making random statements that sound, to you, as if they should be the case. You don't seem to care about reading the actual copyright act.

"It's his copyright because it was his camera". No, copyright has nothing to do with camera ownership.

"It's his copyright because he processed the image". No, he would need to create a new work in order to qualify for derivative image rights. Polishing the original work does not create a derivative work.

This is going around in circles, you are just making statements with no foundation and ignoring the actual law when it is quoted to you. The reason why the image is not copyrighted has been explained, yet you still make statements that it was already copyrighted.

Please quote the part of the copyright act that supports your statements.

I was reading another article that stated there was a DCMA takedown request issued on wikimedia in which they did take down the image, then eventually put it up again:

http://www.newsweek.co​m …y-selfie-copyright-265961 (external link)

so the copyright office did at one point believe the item was copyrighted to mr stater.

as a side, note, copyright law is completely out of bounds not allowing this man to copyright his work. Setting up camera settings, positioning of the camera, and intent of his work IS the creative process.

MattPharmD wrote in post #17112993 (external link)
If repolishing the image was a derivative work, then every time someone here took someone's picture and re-edited it to help them with their process, then the re-edit would be a derivative work.

difference from polishing and processing from scratch. See "Show us your raw before and after" thread. Images can be changed substantially.

on top of that, posting on a forum doesnt mean you relinquish your copyright of the photo.


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Aug 23, 2014 10:01 |  #186

gjl711 wrote in post #17112562 (external link)
Hmm. I've been Googeling around and ran across this (external link)article. It looks as if the US Copyright Office has spoken in a 1200 page report and has taken Wiki's side.

Quite a long report for something "cut and dry".


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Aug 23, 2014 10:41 |  #187

Charlie wrote in post #17113039 (external link)
I was reading another article that stated there was a DCMA takedown request issued on wikimedia in which they did take down the image, then eventually put it up again:

http://www.newsweek.co​m …y-selfie-copyright-265961 (external link)

so the copyright office did at one point believe the item was copyrighted to mr stater.

It means nothing of the sort. DMCA take down notices have nothing to do with the copyright office. You file a DMCA notice with a company or their web host to inform them you believe they are hosting your copyright work in a way that infringes your copyright. They (not the copyright office) decide if they believe you and either do or don't remove it. If they don't remove it they then become liable for the infringement if it is proven in court (not at the copyright office).

The tog submitted a DMCA and Wikimedia initially removed the image and then decided he had no case and put it back. Nothing to do with the copyright office at all.


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Aug 23, 2014 10:52 |  #188

Dan Marchant wrote in post #17113096 (external link)
It means nothing of the sort. DMCA take down notices have nothing to do with the copyright office. You file a DMCA notice with a company or their web host to inform them you believe they are hosting your copyright work in a way that infringes your copyright. They (not the copyright office) decide if they believe you and either do or don't remove it. If they don't remove it they then become liable for the infringement if it is proven in court (not at the copyright office).

The tog submitted a DMCA and Wikimedia initially removed the image and then decided he had no case and put it back. Nothing to do with the copyright office at all.

And a note here is that it can be very expensive to file a DMCA take down notice and not having a case.


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Aug 23, 2014 11:21 |  #189

Charlie wrote in post #17113039 (external link)
I was reading another article that stated there was a DCMA takedown request issued on wikimedia in which they did take down the image, then eventually put it up again:

http://www.newsweek.co​m …y-selfie-copyright-265961 (external link)

so the copyright office did at one point believe the item was copyrighted to mr stater.

as a side, note, copyright law is completely out of bounds not allowing this man to copyright his work. Setting up camera settings, positioning of the camera, and intent of his work IS the creative process.

OK, that article puts a different complexion on things. I had only seen the original claim that the monkey stole the camera, ran off and took hundreds of images. That scenario definitely rules out Slater as holding copyright as you need to be the author of the work, which needs to be a result of your labour, skill and judgement. The original claim clearly states that Slater did not use his labour, skill and judgement to produce the work, it was created completely accidentally by the macaque after it stole the camera. Clear case of no copyright.

However, the article you quoted makes a different claim. It states that Slater was in control of the camera the whole time, he chose the settings, set the camera up pointing at a nice background etc., etc. Then encouraged the macaques to come up and play with the camera, with the intent of getting them to take their own picture. This changes everything, as he now has creative input into the work and therefore can be regarded as the author and be assigned copyright as normal.

So, it hinges now on which claim is actually correct. Is the original claim of the stolen camera the correct one, and the claim that the camera was under his control the whole time a later fabrication to allow him to claim copyright? Or is that article correct and the original claim was false, made by his agent in order to generate more interest? If so, then Slater needs to get himself a new agent as that one is an idiot. The agent should understand copyright, it is part of their job. As such, they should have been aware that making that statement would remove the copyright, as Slater would not have been the author.

The conflicting stories, from the Slater camp, have put the copyright issue in a really tricky place. Wikimedia can support their claim for it being in the public domain, by quoting the original claim made by Slater / Slater's agent that the monkey ran off with a camera and so Slater had no input into the result. They can claim that the tripod version of events was only concocted after Slater was trying to fight for copyright. That means it will probably need to be sorted out in court and it will be up to Slater to convince a judge that the later version is correct. Personally I would believe it to be true, as monkeys are not usually that good a photographer. Mikki's shots of Moscow are very poor in comparison and he had, supposedly, been specially trained to handle cameras.




  
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Aug 23, 2014 12:07 |  #190

sandpiper wrote in post #17113149 (external link)
However, the article you quoted makes a different claim. It states that Slater was in control of the camera the whole time, he chose the settings, set the camera up pointing at a nice background etc., etc. Then encouraged the macaques to come up and play with the camera, with the intent of getting them to take their own picture. This changes everything, as he now has creative input into the work and therefore can be regarded as the author and be assigned copyright as normal.
.

Or it could be that the orriginal story was true. When things went against him and he threatened to sue, he goes to see a lawyer who basically tells him that the story as stands will not work but if he were to make a new claim, then they might have a case.


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Aug 23, 2014 13:07 |  #191

sandpiper wrote in post #17113149 (external link)
OK, that article puts a different complexion on things. I had only seen the original claim that the monkey stole the camera, ran off and took hundreds of images. That scenario definitely rules out Slater as holding copyright as you need to be the author of the work, which needs to be a result of your labour, skill and judgement. The original claim clearly states that Slater did not use his labour, skill and judgement to produce the work, it was created completely accidentally by the macaque after it stole the camera. Clear case of no copyright.

However, the article you quoted makes a different claim. It states that Slater was in control of the camera the whole time, he chose the settings, set the camera up pointing at a nice background etc., etc. Then encouraged the macaques to come up and play with the camera, with the intent of getting them to take their own picture. This changes everything, as he now has creative input into the work and therefore can be regarded as the author and be assigned copyright as normal.

So, it hinges now on which claim is actually correct. Is the original claim of the stolen camera the correct one, and the claim that the camera was under his control the whole time a later fabrication to allow him to claim copyright? Or is that article correct and the original claim was false, made by his agent in order to generate more interest? If so, then Slater needs to get himself a new agent as that one is an idiot. The agent should understand copyright, it is part of their job. As such, they should have been aware that making that statement would remove the copyright, as Slater would not have been the author.

The conflicting stories, from the Slater camp, have put the copyright issue in a really tricky place. Wikimedia can support their claim for it being in the public domain, by quoting the original claim made by Slater / Slater's agent that the monkey ran off with a camera and so Slater had no input into the result. They can claim that the tripod version of events was only concocted after Slater was trying to fight for copyright. That means it will probably need to be sorted out in court and it will be up to Slater to convince a judge that the later version is correct. Personally I would believe it to be true, as monkeys are not usually that good a photographer. Mikki's shots of Moscow are very poor in comparison and he had, supposedly, been specially trained to handle cameras.

it's actually in the first article that ts posts, the video. Slater's whole intent was to get the monkeys to play with the camera since he could not take the intended shot, so he setup the tripod with shutter release and walked back so they could interact with the camera.

"Ran off with the camera" is only partially reporting the story. I think it's pretty clear that Slater's intent the whole time was to capture the monkeys, and he set something up so that happens.


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Aug 23, 2014 13:10 |  #192

gjl711 wrote in post #17113229 (external link)
Or it could be that the orriginal story was true. When things went against him and he threatened to sue, he goes to see a lawyer who basically tells him that the story as stands will not work but if he were to make a new claim, then they might have a case.

Of course, that is what I went on to say. It all depends on which story is true.

His problems are all down to the original story, whether it is the correct version or not it has cast doubt on the copyright.




  
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Aug 24, 2014 15:16 as a reply to  @ sandpiper's post |  #193

So with the recent draft update of copyright rules:

The US Copyright Office has published a draft update to its rules regarding ownership of creative works such as photographs, text and art - the first changes in more than two decades - which explicitly state that it will only recognise pieces produced by a human.

Among the 1222 pages of updated rules and regulations are explicit bans on works produced by "nature, animals, or plants" or "purportedly created by divine or supernatural beings".

What does that mean about stuff taken by timers and triggers? What happens to those images caught of animals when they trigger a sensor that takes a photo?


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Aug 24, 2014 15:43 |  #194

FlyingPete wrote in post #17115049 (external link)
So with the recent draft update of copyright rules:

What does that mean about stuff taken by timers and triggers? What happens to those images caught of animals when they trigger a sensor that takes a photo?

it's silly. Focus trapping..... nature literally triggers the camera. It's basically the same as what mr slater did. You setup a scenario that uses nature as a trigger..... so all of you hummingbird catchers, give up your photos, they belong to the public........

If you see the original language of the copyright law, it says:

"202.02(b) Human author.

The term "authorship" implies that, for a work to be copyrightable, it must owe its origin to a human being. Materials produced solely by nature, by plants, or by animals are not copyrightable."

this photo was NOT produced solely by nature. Mr. Slater himself said that he set it up. IMO, no different from focus trapping.


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Aug 24, 2014 15:46 |  #195

FlyingPete wrote in post #17115049 (external link)
So with the recent draft update of copyright rules:

What does that mean about stuff taken by timers and triggers? What happens to those images caught of animals when they trigger a sensor that takes a photo?

It isn't a problem. The rule hasn't changed, they have never accepted images taken by animals, with no human input, it has always been a requirement that a work must have a human author to be copyrightable. They have just changed the wording to something more explicit.

As far as shots using timers or triggers, there is a human author. The shot is created by a person because they set up the camera in a place of their choosing, chose a focal length and direction to point the thing, to include the scene they want to photograph, chose appropriate aperture and shutter speed for exposure, DOF and freezing of motion (and probably set up flashlights as well). Then they set up a device which will be triggered by the event (or an animal) they wish to capture. That meets all criteria for the person creating the work, the fact that an animal or object trips the trigger is irrelevant, the photographer has set it up for that to happen. The result is very much an intentional creation of the photographer.

For copyright you need a human to intentionally create the work using their labour, skill and judgement. All factors are present when setting up a camera and trigger, therefore copyright is applicable.

If a monkey steals your camera, runs off with it and shoots randomly, NONE of those factors are present, so copyright can not be applied, as the author of the works is not human.




  
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