Charlie wrote in post #17112552
So do you know what the originals are like?
Who are you to say there wasn't a significant edit without the originals?
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 ......