July 10 roundup

  • Jury rejects Jamie Leigh Jones rape claim against Halliburton/KBR. Next, a round of apologies from naive commentators and some who used the case to advance anti-arbitration talking points? [WSJ; Ted Frank/PoL and more; WSJ Law Blog (plaintiff’s lawyers sought shoot-the-moon damages)]
  • Time magazine vs. James Madison on constitutional law (spoiler: Madison wins) [Foster Friess via Ira Stoll]
  • Andrew Trask reviews new Curtis Wilkie book on the Dickie Scruggs scandal;
  • “Right to family life” evolution in human rights law deters UK authorities from deporting various bad actors [Telegraph]
  • Paging Benjamin Barton: How discovery rules enrich the legal profession at the expense of the social good [PoL]
  • USDA heeds politics, not science, on genetic crops [Henry Miller/Gregory Conko, PDF, Cato Institute Regulation]
  • “Legal Questions Raised by Success of Monkey Photographer” [Lowering the Bar]


  • Legal Questions Raised by Success of Monkey Photographer

    Who own pictures of animals taken with motion-detection equipment ? The animals? The equipment?

  • @Le Mur: The owner of the equipment and/or the one who set it up to take those photographs.

  • Some of us have been looking at the plaintiff’s closing. Is it proper to ask for punitive damages to send a message to other corporations that may be drafting policies? Having been on the defense side of the v. I was not fond of sending a message arguments. But I don’t think the argument was proper. Does anyone have a take on this? Steve Gillers asked the question at Legal Ethics Forum. Of course, is beside the point now, insofar as this plaintiff is concerned. I wonder what the jury made of the argument, and the size of the damages requested. Anyway, I had not followed this case, and the Mother Jones piece was informative.

  • Mother Jones who would have guessed such a balanced article.

    “says Laurie Levenson, … It doesn’t mean that something didn’t happen.”

    The new code for we all know nothing happened, but we sure would like some ju$tice anyway.

  • How is the monkey different from an automatic shutter timer? As the monkey has no intention to take pictures and obviously didn’t understand even what a camera is for how can he be the author?

  • As of now, the Wikipedia content guideline on public domain works claims that a work that was produced by an animal (as opposed to a human) does not qualify for copyright, at least in the US. (The example of a painting by a chimpanzee is given.) However, it may be that in the case of the “monkey photographer” that David Slater (or his employer, if any) would be considered the copyright holder (note the responses by @John Burgess (07.10.11 at 11:23 am) and @Mark Biggar (07.11.11 at 11:32 am.) To be sure, there is the question of how a painting chimpanzee (for which a human probably arranged for the act of painting to be carried out) differs from the case of a monkey unexpectedly causing photos to be taken with a camera that a person had set up for their own use.

  • […] A takedown letter (not, apparently, monkey-typed) is the latest development in the copyright flap that has transfixed the legal blogosphere [David Post, Jim Harper, Lowering the Bar, earlier] […]