Peacock Tales • Winter 2016

Case Notes

  • In Indonesia, a photographer left his camera unattended and a monkey took a picture of itself.  The photographer published a book including the photo with other animal “selfies.”  Wikipedia published the photo without permission.  The photographer sued for copyright infringement.  The U.S. Copyright Office ruled that the office would not register works produced by animals.  People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sued the photographer in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California for profits and other relief on behalf of the monkey.  U.S. District Judge William Orrick, in announcing his intention to dismiss the complaint, said, “I’m not the person to weigh in on this.  This is an issue for Congress and the president.  If they think animals should have the right of copyright they’re free, I think, under the Constitution, to do that.” 
     

  • A Louisiana attorney who purchased a “detox shampoo” for a client facing drug testing in order to scrub his client’s hair of any signs of illegal drug use has been disbarred.
     

  • A South Carolina attorney has been reprimanded for buying Google ads that linked the names of opposing lawyers as keywords in a derogatory internet marketing campaign.  The lawyers’ names were linked to other key words, “Ripped off?” “Lied to?” “Scammed?”
     

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