Friday, August 22, 2014

Want to prevent someone from taking copyright on something- have it be made by a monkey

Well, this is both strange and surreal and fascinating: Who Owns A Monkey's Selfie? No One Can, U.S. Says : The Two-Way : NPR.  Turns out the UC Copyright office says a photo taken by a monkey cannot by copyrighted because apparently copyright is reserved for humans (and I guess human corporations).  NPR implies that an Ars Technica article by David Kravets is what caught their attention as well as that of others.

I wonder - if one could teach a monkey to type maybe one could get them to type up some papers and then nobody could have copyright on them?  What if one wrote a paper where a monkey was a co-author but did not do all the work?  Would that mean one could not transfer copyright to anyone else?  Seems like I should / could include monkeys on all my work.


  1. I like this plan. You could probably get monkeys to play things like FOLDIT ( - the first publication out of that game had all the players as co-authors. Monkeys are probably still better than computers for some things requiring abstract reasoning (at least for now).

  2. The problem is when you train monkeys to type, they just type out-of-copyright stuff like "Hamlet" anyway.

  3. Well, at least one paper co-authored by a hamster does exist (, but is still protected by the paywall


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