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Can Monkeys have Property Rights?

by | Apr 28, 2018 | Law

A few years ago, nature photographer David Slater set social media on fire with the sensational selfies that the monkey Naruto captured with the camera it stole from Slater. Slater later recovered his camera and found the endearing pictures which gave him instant global fame.

Dragged to court

This did not go down well with the professional haters of humanity at the animal rights activist organization PETA. They decided to drag Slater to court on behalf of Naruto, claiming intellectual property right infringement. Naruto snapped the pictures, so they belong to him, they argued.

They lost in court, of course, and then appealed. They lost again and appealed yet again. This time it is final. The court has decided that monkeys can’t own pictures.

Many lessons to be learned

The world has reacted to PETA’s lawsuit in the most natural way possible: by laughing hard. Indeed, you can find our very own parody here at Liberty Nation.

There are so many things to be learned from Naruto. Let’s go through them here.

Lesson #1: Beware of clowns

Although PETA look like clowns to most people, their attack on Slater is no laughing matter. They have actively and deliberately tried to ruin his life and managed to make every day a living hell.

If you don’t think clowns can be scary, consider watching the movie IT. Also consider that most people in the West laughed at this clown with the funny mustache in charge of Germany in the 1930s. By 1940 they had stopped laughing. In short, don’t underestimate someone just because you think they are silly.

Lesson #2: the courts can be weaponized

PETA has employed a method that was first pioneered by the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center. They decided to drag the Ku Klux Klan to court with the sole purpose of financially ruining them. They weaponized the court system.

While it is easy to sympathize with their cause of going after the Klan, their method is dubious at best. The courts were not meant to be used by political activists as a weapon to destroy their perceived enemies by financially ruining them. A legal system that enables such predatory behavior is not in alignment with the purpose of the law. It remains a grossly neglected area of reform.

Lesson #3: thieves don’t own their loot

A thief who steals a camera does not own the pictures he takes with it. That’s obvious to anyone except socialists. However, this case brings to light the basis of all rights, and it is worth stating explicitly.

A right in the classical sense of the word is something that is rewarded to anyone who has the capacity to respect rights. You have a right to property because you are able to respect other people’s property rights. All your rights reflect your ability and willingness to respect those rights in other. Rights are reciprocal and mutual.

That’s why monkeys can’t have property rights. They are unable to respect the property of others – something Naruto capably demonstrated when he stole the camera of Slater.

No laughing matter

Perhaps the darkest lesson to learn from this trial is that the left operates collectively as an army using any dirty trick available to take out their enemies one by one. Conservatives and libertarians, who are individualistic by nature, just stand by and let leftist extremist organizations destroy people without coming to their aid.

That’s a recipe for losing the war.

Freedom is lost when good men stand by and do nothing. Therefore, all freedom lovers need to coalesce into groups that can help whenever the left initiates a vicious attack on an innocent human.

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