A Shakespearean-quality work will result if enough monkeys or similar creatures—humans included?—peck away randomly on typewriters. That’s more or less the infinite monkey theorem.
Now some reality. Under a recent court ruling, it would appear that the monkeys, at least, might not be able copyright their masterpiece. We need to do something (even if the copyright system might be kinder to the humans mentioned above). Fodder for the Author’s Guild? Here’s the reason for my concern.
“While Congress and the President can extend the protection of law to animals as well as humans, there is no indication that they did so in the Copyright Act,” Orrick wrote.
The U.S. Copyright Office likewise isn’t into granting copyrights to animals.
The whole sorry episode happened after a monkey in Indonesia fiddled around with a photographer’s camera and took a picture of himself, and then PETA jumped in with a stupid lawsuit, saying the money from the suit would go toward monkey protection. I love animals. But long term, such idiocy is bad for the group’s credibility.
Humor alert: Yes, I’m joking about the Author’s Guild above. The ill-fated suit against Google for unauthorized indexing of contemporary books, however, barely missed being in the same category as PETA’s if you consider the basics of fair use and the protections Google had in place.