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Monkey gets another chance to claim his ‘selfie’

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New York, Aug 4: The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) animal rights organisation has filed an appeal to the US Court of Appeals for justice to Naruto — a now-famous monkey known for taking a “selfie” that prompted an unprecedented copyright lawsuit — at claiming ownership over his image.

The image was taken in 2011 by Naruto,then a six-year-old male free-living crested macaque in Indonesia.
Photographer David J Slater had left his camera unattended in an Indonesian forest which allowed Naruto to take several photos of himself.

Slater and his company, which both claim copyright ownership, published the photos that Naruto indisputably took. PETA sued, claiming that Naruto was the author of the photos and that Slater had infringed on Naruto’s copyright.

Disappointingly, in January, a federal judge dismissed the monkey selfie suit, finding that a non-human animal could not own a copyright.“In every practical (and definitional)sense, he [Naruto] is the ‘author’ of the works,” argued PETA in the appeal brief filed on Tuesday.

“Had the Monkey Selfies been made by a human using Slater’s unattended camera, that human would undisputedly be declared the author and copyright owner of the photographs. Nothing in the Copyright Act limits its application to human authors.Protection under the Copyright Act does not depend on the humanity of the author, but on the originality of the work itself,” the appeal read.

According to PETA, if the lawsuit succeeds, it will be the first time that a nonhuman animal has been declared the owner of property rather than a piece of property himself or herself.It will also be the first time that a right has been extended to a nonhuman animal beyond just the basic necessities of food, shelter, water, and veterinary care. In our view, it is high time.

“The fact that copyright ownership by an animal has not been previously asserted does not mean that such rights cannot be asserted,” PETA wrote.(IANS)

Wefornews Bureau

Nature

France ditches plans for controversial west coast airport

Activists on the 1,600-hectare rural site say they have developed it into a utopia of organic farming and political debate.

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Edouard Philippe

The French government on Wednesday formally abandoned decades-old plans for a controversial new airport on the west coast that became a site of resistance for environmental activists.

In a keenly awaited announcement, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the divisions unleashed by the proposed new airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes near the city of Nantes made it impossible to proceed.

“The project cannot go ahead in a climate of bitter opposition between two sides of the population that are nearly equal in size,” he said, adding: “The project is therefore abandoned.

The decision ends years of debate over a project first mooted in the 1960s — but sets the stage for a possible standoff with environmental activists who have been occupying the airport site for the past decade.

Activists on the 1,600-hectare rural site say they have developed it into a utopia of organic farming and political debate.

Philippe gave them until the spring to leave voluntarily, after which they would be evicted.

“We will put a stop to the no-go zone which has flourished in this area for nearly 10 years,” he said.

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Nature

Southern California wildfire largest on record

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Los Angeles, Dec 23: The wildfire, which has razed 273,400 acres in southern California so far, has become the largest wildfire in the state since records began.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said that the Thomas fire, which began on December 4, had surpassed the fire Cedar, which had burned 273,246 acres in San Diego county in October 2003, reports Efe news.

Records of the area destroyed by wildfires have been kept by the organisation since 1932.

Thomas has destroyed 1,063 buildings and killed two, compared to the 2,820 destroyed by Cedar and 15 deaths caused.

Although during the first few days Thomas was difficult to control and spread rapidly through Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, in the last few days emergency services have managed to practically stop the wildfire’s progress and have contained 65 per cent of the flames.

This year is turning out to be California’s worst year for wildfires on record, mainly because of massive fires in October in several counties in the northern part of the state, which ravaged many wineries in Napa and Sonoma counties.

Those fires claimed the lives of 44 people and destroyed close to 8,900 houses and structures, according to the final estimates of the authorities.

IANS

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Assam: 40 Elephants die in 100 days as man-animal conflicts increase

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Elephants
Elephant crossinf railway line

Almost 40 Elephants died due to unnatural incidents within 100 days in Assam. According to a report published in The Times Of India , All of them have been killed due to unnatural causes, with the primary reasons being mowing down by moving train, electrocution, poisoning and accidentally falling in ditches especially in tea garden areas.

Bibhab Talukdar, secretary general of Aaranyak, an NGO that works on biodiversity conservation told the times of India,“It is very unfortunate that more than 40 elephants have died in the last 100 days. It clearly shows that elephants are not getting priority when it comes to conservation of animals.”

While rhinos in state are confined to national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, an estimated population of 500 elephants in Assam have habitats across all reserved forests. The state has five elephant reserves covering an estimated area of 10,967-sq km. Only a small portion of these reserves are in protected areas, in the form of national parks or wildlife sanctuaries, while the rest are reserved forest areas.

Conservationists pointed out that elephant reserves in the state do not enjoy the same level of protection as national parks. They fear the large-scale deforestation of elephant habitats, which lie outside protected areas, has endangered the survival of elephants.

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