In other news... (humorous news items)

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:25 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:But how do we know that none of the refugees are creepers?


Image

The setup was too easy on this one, I had to go for it :-)
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Thesh » Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:08 pm UTC

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/bu ... rrer=&_r=0

How to make money in pharmaceuticals:

Find old drug that doesn't really have competition, purchase the brand, jack up the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill - congratulations, you have now completed your course in rent seeking 101.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:09 pm UTC

Pharmaceutical companies; doing everything in their power to prove Socialism right since 1822.

After all the abuses, a government run corporation (much like the post office) that mass produces generics seems like a better and better idea every day.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby el matematico » Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:26 pm UTC

There's also a "rebuttal" to criticism on that decision. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCIMUn_WNz0
The rebuttal confirms eveerything, except the guy claims he's set up things so that the drug will cost less to people who can't afford it, and also will be better distributed and you shoudln't complain because they save lives and other drugs are more expensive.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby morriswalters » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:13 pm UTC

This video is a joke right? Bloomberg is evidently a shill for this moron.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:25 pm UTC

So... the $1/pill is only the variable cost? Thought the $1/pill included the factory and such.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby addams » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:03 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Pharmaceutical companies; doing everything in their power to prove Socialism right since 1822.

After all the abuses, a government run corporation (much like the post office) that mass produces generics seems like a better and better idea every day.

How do the Europeans do it?
There is a world view that seems to be almost contagious.
That world view sees all medicine and medical advancements originating in the US.

That world view may not be accurate.
How do the Europeans do it? UK, too?
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Thesh » Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:37 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:After all the abuses, a government run corporation (much like the post office) that mass produces generics seems like a better and better idea every day.


Yeah, that has always made the most sense to me. Of course, I am of the opinion that we would be best off replacing every corporation with either a publicly owned company, consumer cooperative, or worker cooperative, leaving only self employment (worker cooperative of one!) as the only private for-profit enterprise.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby duckshirt » Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:04 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:So... the $1/pill is only the variable cost? Thought the $1/pill included the factory and such.


He purchased the brand for $55 million, that would be the main cost. If he wants 15% annual return he would have to make $8 million a year on a pill that only a few tens of thousands might need.

Also, I don't think Bloomberg is a shill for letting the guy speak. Knowing the types of articles they put out they probably hate his business as much as any of us.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby jseah » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:17 pm UTC

One wonders how a generic drug could get 'bought'? Isn't it generic?

Why not start a generics company to undercut them?
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby bigglesworth » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:23 pm UTC

He's relying on no-one else being sufficiently enticed by the profit of undercutting him for him to make a profit on buying the manufacturing plant and stock of the drug. He might be right.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby icanus » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:14 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:He's relying on no-one else being sufficiently enticed by the profit of undercutting him for him to make a profit on buying the manufacturing plant and stock of the drug. He might be right.

Also, from the original article:
One factor that could discourage that option is that Daraprim’s distribution is now tightly controlled, making it harder for generic companies to get the samples they need for the required testing.

The switch from drugstores to controlled distribution was made in June by Impax, not by Turing. Still, controlled distribution was a strategy Mr. Shkreli talked about at his previous company as a way to thwart generics.

Simple fix would be to change the law so that from the day the patent expires, drug companies are required to provide samples to other companies at cost.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby elasto » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:19 pm UTC

icanus wrote:Simple fix would be to change the law so that from the day the patent expires, drug companies are required to provide samples to other companies at cost.

I thought that to even get a patent you had to reveal details of what was being patented? Is that not the case for drugs? You can patent it but still keep the composition a secret?

Oh, wait, I bet the problem is they don't release samples of the product for rivals to run group trials on - to prove that the generic is as safe and effective as the original.

Yeah. This is a loophole that needs closing.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ahammel » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:13 pm UTC

elasto wrote:Oh, wait, I bet the problem is they don't release samples of the product for rivals to run group trials on - to prove that the generic is as safe and effective as the original.
That doesn't sound right. The generic is the same thing as the original. By law you have to use the same manufacturing process. It would be very strange indeed if the FDA required non-inferiority trials for what amounts to a change in the branding.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby duckshirt » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:25 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:He's relying on no-one else being sufficiently enticed by the profit of undercutting him for him to make a profit on buying the manufacturing plant and stock of the drug. He might be right.

Probably. In related news, you can buy Daraprim for $1.66/pill in Canada and it seems to be legal for Americans to do buy prescription drugs from Canada. So maybe they are counting on people with insurance who won't think twice about it.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby icanus » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:27 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:
elasto wrote:Oh, wait, I bet the problem is they don't release samples of the product for rivals to run group trials on - to prove that the generic is as safe and effective as the original.
That doesn't sound right. The generic is the same thing as the original. By law you have to use the same manufacturing process. It would be very strange indeed if the FDA required non-inferiority trials for what amounts to a change in the branding.

The approval process is much less intensive than for a new drug, but trials are still required to demonstrate bioequivelancy.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:30 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:
elasto wrote:Oh, wait, I bet the problem is they don't release samples of the product for rivals to run group trials on - to prove that the generic is as safe and effective as the original.
That doesn't sound right. The generic is the same thing as the original. By law you have to use the same manufacturing process. It would be very strange indeed if the FDA required non-inferiority trials for what amounts to a change in the branding.


Not necessarily identical. Frequently, a non-active ingredient will be changed, so it's not exactly the same thing, but functionally extremely similar. In edge cases, generics can have different effects than brand names, and even each other, due to such minor changes.

Equivalency testing exists to make sure that any such changes are trivial, and that you didn't inadvertently cause some significant side effect/efficacy change.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby jseah » Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:31 pm UTC

icanus wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:He's relying on no-one else being sufficiently enticed by the profit of undercutting him for him to make a profit on buying the manufacturing plant and stock of the drug. He might be right.

Also, from the original article:
One factor that could discourage that option is that Daraprim’s distribution is now tightly controlled, making it harder for generic companies to get the samples they need for the required testing.

The switch from drugstores to controlled distribution was made in June by Impax, not by Turing. Still, controlled distribution was a strategy Mr. Shkreli talked about at his previous company as a way to thwart generics.

Simple fix would be to change the law so that from the day the patent expires, drug companies are required to provide samples to other companies at cost.

That's pretty bad. I would prefer the solution to be that the government runs the side of the trial that uses the original drug (a drug manufacturer cannot really refuse to provide samples to the FDA...).
Regulators working closer with companies on these drug trials would also make them more reliable and less prone to... bias, let's say.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Coyne » Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:41 pm UTC

duckshirt wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:So... the $1/pill is only the variable cost? Thought the $1/pill included the factory and such.


He purchased the brand for $55 million, that would be the main cost. If he wants 15% annual return he would have to make $8 million a year on a pill that only a few tens of thousands might need.

Also, I don't think Bloomberg is a shill for letting the guy speak. Knowing the types of articles they put out they probably hate his business as much as any of us.


Users take 1-2 pills per day for 12 weeks (course of treatment). Assuming the average usage is 1.5 pills per day...

This page says there were 8,821 prescriptions last year.

1 person x 1.5 pills per day x 12 weeks x $13.50 = $1700 x 8,821 prescriptions = gross sales $15 million (former)

1 person x 1.5 pills per day x 12 weeks x $750 = $94,500 x 8,821 prescriptions = gross sales $834 million (now)

Now, since the original company presumably made a net profit on that $15 million--that is, assuming the drug was not a loser: the new price is at least 98.2% profit (probably more) and note, all for the company since it doesn't distribute via normal drugstore channels. Using these figures, his first year ROI is 1400%.
In all fairness...

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby duckshirt » Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:52 pm UTC

Good research. This article states it previously had $5 million/year in sales, but also suggests they were losing money on it somehow.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby el matematico » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:34 pm UTC

duckshirt wrote:Good research. This article states it previously had $5 million/year in sales, but also suggests they were losing money on it somehow.

Because they could charge so much more, like 750 each pill, you see?
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ahammel » Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:13 am UTC

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ucim » Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:57 am UTC


I'd like to know how anybody finds it reasonable that copyright even exists on what essentially amounts to four words run together in a common phrase.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:18 am UTC

ucim wrote:

I'd like to know how anybody finds it reasonable that copyright even exists on what essentially amounts to four words run together in a common phrase.

Jose


Its the tune plus the lyrics, which ended up being a skin on top of "Good morning to you". The evidence was hidden from the defendants this whole time.

The worst part is, the happy birthday group was extremely litigious and was making $2 Million / year in claims as of 2008. The assholes need to be countersued to oblivion now that we know that they've been hiding evidence this whole damn time about the public domain status of the song.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Thesh » Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:45 am UTC

Nagging + Technology = Life Saving*

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.asp ... id=2442937

*Maybe
Conclusions and Relevance Among patients with coronary heart disease, the use of a lifestyle-focused text messaging service compared with usual care resulted in a modest improvement in LDL-C level and greater improvement in other cardiovascular disease risk factors. The duration of these effects and hence whether they result in improved clinical outcomes remain to be determined.


Also, the piece of shit who hiked the drug price caved and returned it to the normal price. Apparently it became profitable at $13.50 in the last 24 hours.

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/09/pharma- ... ice-gouge/
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ucim » Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:50 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:It's the tune plus the lyrics, which ended up being a skin on top of "Good morning to you".
Yes, but at some point doesn't something become so trivial as to be ineligible for copyright? (If not, it certainly should!)

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Mutex » Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:31 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:The worst part is, the happy birthday group was extremely litigious and was making $2 Million / year in claims as of 2008. The assholes need to be countersued to oblivion now that we know that they've been hiding evidence this whole damn time about the public domain status of the song.


Or have to pay back all the money they got in royalties.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Coyne » Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:34 am UTC

Actually, the copyright on the birthday song was not struck down. The court ruled that Warner Chappell does not own the copyright, which means they have nothing to enforce against anyone. But the ruling seems to place the song as an "orphan work", one for which the copyright ownership is unknown.

Odds are that this means you will still have to pay performance fees for it; just not to Warner Chappell.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ahammel » Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:37 am UTC

Coyne wrote:Actually, the copyright on the birthday song was not struck down. The court ruled that Warner Chappell does not own the copyright, which means they have nothing to enforce against anyone. But the ruling seems to place the song as an "orphan work", one for which the copyright ownership is unknown.

Odds are that this means you will still have to pay performance fees for it; just not to Warner Chappell.

Then to whom? My reading of that article is that you can use it if you like, but you risk being slapped with a pretty outrageous penalty if somebody does, in fact, they own the Happy Birthday copyright. And also maybe you're required to ask the patent office for permission?

Note that this technically does not say that the song is in the public domain -- just that the Hills never gave the copyright to Summy and thus Sumnmy's (and now Warner/Chappell's) claim on the copyright is invalid. However, the likelihood of finding someone else with a legitimate claim to the copyright is basically nil. But, technically, this makes it an orphan work because there is at least the potential that someone could magically show up with evidence that someone else has the copyright on the lyrics. This is incredibly unlikely, so all of the people claiming that the song is now in the public domain are probably right effectively. However, technically it could very much be argued that Happy Birthday is now an orphan work, and that this highlights the insanity of orphan works in our system. Also, it's entirely possible that if the issue ever did go to trial, a court would declare the work in the public domain. But, until then...
My emphasis.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Coyne » Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:51 am UTC

ahammel wrote:Then to whom? My reading of that article is that you can use it if you like, but you risk being slapped with a pretty outrageous penalty if somebody does, in fact, they own the Happy Birthday copyright. And also maybe you're required to ask the patent office for permission?

Sorry, I should have said to one of the performance rights organizations (PRO), ASCAP, BMI or one or more of those. In all probability they will now assert it falls under their blanket performance rights payment policies, which cover performances of all music that is not actually public domain. The PRO(s) will, of course, keep the money until someone proves ownership (not likely since it is orphaned) or until doomsday, whichever comes sooner.

ahammel wrote:Note that this technically does not say that the song is in the public domain -- just that the Hills never gave the copyright to Summy and thus Sumnmy's (and now Warner/Chappell's) claim on the copyright is invalid. However, the likelihood of finding someone else with a legitimate claim to the copyright is basically nil. But, technically, this makes it an orphan work because there is at least the potential that someone could magically show up with evidence that someone else has the copyright on the lyrics. This is incredibly unlikely, so all of the people claiming that the song is now in the public domain are probably right effectively. However, technically it could very much be argued that Happy Birthday is now an orphan work, and that this highlights the insanity of orphan works in our system. Also, it's entirely possible that if the issue ever did go to trial, a court would declare the work in the public domain. But, until then...

My counter-emphasis. It is insane, of course, but PROs love it that way. It probably has to do with all the money they get to keep when no one can prove ownership.

Actually, it is the current copyright laws that are insane.
In all fairness...

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ahammel » Thu Sep 24, 2015 4:38 am UTC

Coyne wrote:Sorry, I should have said to one of the performance rights organizations (PRO), ASCAP, BMI or one or more of those. In all probability they will now assert it falls under their blanket performance rights payment policies, which cover performances of all music that is not actually public domain. The PRO(s) will, of course, keep the money until someone proves ownership (not likely since it is orphaned) or until doomsday, whichever comes sooner.
Are they really entitled to collect on copyrights which they do not own? On copyrights which, in fact, there is no evidence that anybody owns?
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby commodorejohn » Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:38 am UTC

If it's anything like any other area of American litigation, the answer is probably "absolutely, as long as they have enough money and lawyers at their disposal."
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Coyne » Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:45 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:
Coyne wrote:Sorry, I should have said to one of the performance rights organizations (PRO), ASCAP, BMI or one or more of those. In all probability they will now assert it falls under their blanket performance rights payment policies, which cover performances of all music that is not actually public domain. The PRO(s) will, of course, keep the money until someone proves ownership (not likely since it is orphaned) or until doomsday, whichever comes sooner.
Are they really entitled to collect on copyrights which they do not own? On copyrights which, in fact, there is no evidence that anybody owns?


They think so. To help you catch up:

Performance Rights Organizations Accused Of 'Retitling' Songs To Collect Royalties Without Paying Artists

How ASCAP Takes Money From Successful Indie Artists And Gives It To Giant Rock Stars

How Big Music Companies Are Stealing Hundreds Of Millions In Royalties From Artists

How GEMA Is (Still) The Worst 'Collective Rights' Organization In The World (Note that GEMA is not U.S.)

The thing about these companies is that they are quasi-agencies of the government. They are authorized by the government to collect performance fees for music, and they have all sorts of problems. But nothing can be done because these practices are effectively protected by law.
In all fairness...

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby jewish_scientist » Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:52 pm UTC

Telescopes were not patented when they were invented for two reasons. I will bet $20 you cannot guess the reasons why. The first is that several people filed for the patent within a short time. The second, brace yourself, is that the government decided that, "the device was easy to reproduce" So how on Earth did Amazon patent taking a photograph with a white background!? Even worst, somehow the pollen from a GMO is protected by copy right law. The only thing stopping Monsanto from suing every farmer who lives within several miles of one of their clients, or a road where there products were being transported on, is single paragraph on their website. In what way is stopping a biological process that is fundamental to life in every organism you own or sell easier than making sure no one has two lens lined up with each other.

Also, am I the only one who thinks that anything 122 years old should be in the public domain simple because it is 122 years old?

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby HungryHobo » Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:14 pm UTC

It largely comes down to different ways of viewing the system.

To scientists, engineers, programmers, artists (you know useful people who create anything of value themselves) it's supposed to be a system for rewarding creators for creating useful things but they can see that it's really really shit at doing that and appears to hamper creation by preventing any of those people from building on non-ancient previous work.

To the parasite classes: politicians, MBA's and people with large stock portfolios it's obviously supposed to be a system for making their investments safer, if they invest in a company with a shitty patent on using a laser pointer to amuse a cat or swinging on a swing or which owns copyrights which prevent anyone from re-using elements of our culture even though the artists are long dead then it's less likely that anyone else will be able to compete in the same market making their investments safer and thus encouraging investment. To them the system appears perfect and well optimised for them because it is.

I'm always surprised at the inane obvious, unoriginal, unremarkable shit that people on dragons den manage to patent but the simple fact that they have patents makes the investors instantly relax and throw money at it.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby elasto » Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:57 am UTC

Who owns the copyright on a photograph taken by an animal..?

The photographer at the centre of an international row over the ownership of a selfie photograph taken by a monkey in Indonesia has told the BBC that he will vigorously resist the latest challenge to its copyright.

On Monday, animal rights activists sought US legal permission for proceeds from the photos to benefit the monkey. But David Slater said it took three days of hard work to get the photo. He said that money accrued from its re-use around the world belongs to him.

"It took three days of blood, sweat and tears to get the selfie in which I had to be accepted by the group of monkeys before they would allow me to come close enough to introduce them to my camera equipment," Mr Slater told the BBC. "The trouble is, other people are trying to steal the ownership rights and I will fight to resist that."

The selfie of the crested macaque monkey has been widely distributed around the world by numerous outlets, including Wikipedia. They and other outlets argue that the copyright to the images cannot be owned because they were taken by an animal rather than a person.

Earlier this week, activists from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) filed a lawsuit in San Francisco seeking permission for it to administer all proceeds from the photos for the benefit of the male monkey, which it identified as six-year-old Naruto.

"If Peta US prevails in this lawsuit, it will be the first time that a non-human animal is declared the owner of property, rather than being declared a piece of property himself or herself," Peta Director Mimi Bekhechi said.

But Mr Slater told the BBC that the attitude of Peta and Wikipedia "stinks" and is a flagrant breach of his artistic integrity. He argues that it took "much time and more perseverance" to get the selfie, taken on a reserve on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi in 2011.

He had to spend several days with the monkeys so that they became relaxed in his company. He said he only managed to get the photo by setting up his camera on a tripod with a cable release switch which the monkey in the famous selfie pressed. In addition, he had to make sure that the light and contrast switches on the camera were properly set - work which he says is more than sufficient for him to claim copyright of the photos.

"I was lying down at the time with at least two macaque juveniles on my back and nursing a few bruises from a male who had whacked me several times all over in the belief that I was a challenge to his females.
"So please don't tell me these photos are not my property."


PETA have an obvious ulterior motive for their lawsuit, but I vacillate between siding with the photographer and siding with Wikipedia. Think I just about sit with the photographer on this one, but it's not black and white for sure! There's precedents and tricky edge cases either way...

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:30 pm UTC

Feh. If I take a photo using a timer or other technological device, it's still my picture.

Should be no different if the hardware used is organic.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby bigglesworth » Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:49 pm UTC

Did he own the monkey?
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:59 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:Did he own the monkey?


Probably not.

Which makes this more complicated, hurray!

But at least in a way that's probably more well established.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Dauric » Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:21 pm UTC

If I recall my contract negotiation class correctly: A contractor provides artwork on a commission basis, the copyright holder is technically the party that paid for that artwork. The original artist can use their art in a portfolio, but their rights do not extend to for-profit distribution. This means an artist that provided work that someone else, say someone publishing a book that the art goes in to, cannot use a copyright claim to demand profits after the book has been published, any royalties would have been declared as part of the initial negotiation at the time the piece was commissioned, not demanded after the fact.

(This is different than licensing an existing artwork, where the copyright holder is the creator and the licensee has limited permission to use the artwork based on the license. The rule of thumb is if the art exists before the contract then it's licensed, if the artwork is created after the contract is created then it's a contracted piece and the copyright holder is the one who paid for the work.)

So, if the guy with the camera equipment gave the monkey a banana before the monkey snapped the selfie that would make the monkey a contractor...
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