Cat selfies: the next copyright battle?

Andres Guadamuz

I admit that I am currently obsessed with non-human copyright. First monkey selfies, then I am writing an article on artificial intelligence and copyright. Now enter Manny, a cat that loves taking selfies with a GoPro camera. According to one site:

“The gray kitty is fascinated by his human’s GoPro cameras. So when Manny spots one, he reaches out to the camera and is ready to snap a shot. The kitty is always camera ready and often rallies his furry friends to join in the fun.”

It is not very clear whether the cat is actually pressing the button, or if he’s just fascinated by the camera and reaches to touch it and play with it. While the pictures do look like a selfie, it seems like the camera is always held by the owner.

The legal analysis of the case would be close to that of the monkey selfie (you can read all about my take on simian copyright in this article for Internet Policy Review).

Generally, I think that what we have here is a very proactive photographer and a playful cat, so I would generally favour copyright to persist on the pictures assuming that the owner has a considerable amount of input on the issue.

What everyone wants to know is whether PETA will sue on behalf of the cat.

(via Alexandra Giannopoulou).

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