My point is that PETA is going about it the wrong way, especially in persisting to “humanize” animals by, for example, wanting to apply principles to the latter that even humans do not respect! Here is my logical, pragmatic and realistic reasoning:
While PETA aims to make animals benefit from “rights” humans reserved to humans, it organization clumsily attempts to humanize these animals and as long as they proceed the same way, they will not be able to rally most of the society.
The District Judge William Orrick provides a fair and realistic opinion because he acknowledges that the Congressmen and the President:
a) have the “ability” to grant (not that they did)
b) legal protection (and not the “enjoyment” of legal benefits),
to animals and to humans.
Legally: Who is entitled to intellectual property “rights”?
In my opinion, the real question here is: Who is responsible for the well-being of animals living on the territory humans are located on? The answer is: The authorities administering that wildlife reserve in Indonesia (on the Island of Sulawesi).
They are thus the ones that, if provided by law can set themselves as the holders of any intellectual property “rights” regarding, for example, the pictures of the animals living on the wildlife reserve, and bring legal action to any person who breaches these rights.
Moreover, the dispute arose on the Indonesian territory (the picture was allegedly “illegally” taken on the reserve), so how does a U.S. Court can consider itself entitled to hear this case? The only option would be that by virtue of applicable law, the residence of the photographer David Slater (who is British) or of the book’s publisher be in the United States (which is the case since Blurb’s headquarters are in San Francisco).
The “historic” nature (according to PETA) of this case: What is the real origin of this lawsuit?
According to PETA’s general counsel, Jeffrey Kerr, this case has a “historic” nature because it’s the first time that PETA argues an animal’s “right” to physical property, and that in short, animals can be considered to be on the same level as human beings in that sense.
I could not disagree more, the importance and the historic nature of legally establishing humans’ responsibility for the well-being of animals would mean a lot more than the ability for animals to receive a certain amount from the use of their image!
Besides, do we even ask ourselves: What is the cause of all this legal debate? Is it the “historic” number of a mere 100 books sold in the world (according to Andrew Chung, from Oddly Enough) for which the intellectual property rights granted by the court to Naruto would help them finance the preservation of animal habitats? Is this a new way for PETA to finance its activities?
It is thus hoped that the preserved habitat be of a relatively “small size”, when considering the amount granted by means of legal action! Finally, did someone ask the animals what they intended to do with all that financial godsend that would be rightfully theirs if the Court rules in their favor?
So, what are the real intentions of PETA: the well-being of the animals of the reserve on the Island of Sulawesi or is it a new way of financing their activities? Oh, and by the way, does the photographer, David Slater, give back (after the publication costs have been covered) to the reserve of the Island of Sulawesi? If not, why didn’t they think about that?
In conclusion: Right & Obligation-VS- Human and Animal Benefits and Responsibilities
In my 30 years of legal practice, of negotiating and drawing up contracts, I banished the words “rights” and “obligations” from all of my contracts because they had lost their meaning. The 21st century man only lives for the word “Rights” as in: “It’s my right to…”, “I have rights!” because nobody is responsible for anything now, so Man has even less “obligations”.
The use of the words “Benefits” and “Responsibilities” would be much more descriptive and become the bearer of a society that loves itself and that loves each one of the individuals that comprises it. In addition, being responsible for your own actions as well as for the well-being of the people around us, frees us from the intervention, subjectivity, consequences and actions of others!
Also, being responsible allows each of us to take advantages of the benefits that are deserved and not coming from a “divine intervention”, like still lots of us consider having rights! The true freedom we have is our constant capacity to choose what we want or not in life.
Thus being responsible is to choose to have responsibilities and to enjoy the benefits attached to it! Since we are an “evolved specie” of the animal world always has the opportunity to make that choice, while the other animals can’t (acting from instinct doesn’t require thinking!).
In conclusion, when we clearly choose to be responsible (of ourselves and other animal species below us, in accordance to how Nature sorted us) we will finally be FREE and will live in symbiosis with the other animal species, this, guaranteeing the existence and evolution of all species!
“The Guy” @ clanimal.com