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Thursday, 5 January 2006

A PET SUBJECT FOR COPYRIGHT?


Fame academy

The IPKat was delighted to read this account in Ananova:

"A fame academy for pets has been set up in Germany where talented animals get the chance to sing, dance and play musical instruments. Teacher Viviane Theby, 39, from the Wittlich Fame Academy, has already taught a chicken to play the xylophone and a cat to play the piano. Theby, who also teaches the animals to dance at the Scheuerhof Animal Academy, said:

"I use the same principles as other animal trainers. If the pet hits the right note it gets a reward. Animals repeat what they are rewarded for."

Her success stories include Katie the hen who learnt to play the xylophone.

"If she hits the right note with her beak she gets some chicken feed," she said, adding fellow chicken student Gackeline had already learnt the first few bars of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. The music teacher has also taught cat Fuchs how to play the piano. She said: "He's even given concerts and we have sold some of his CDs. Occasionally we play a duet together."

And her dog Bellos has been taught how to dance. "It took me six months, but I eventually taught him a set routine and now we do the 'dog-dance' together," she said. Theby added that teaching animals to play instruments and dance was simply another form of communication between pet and owner.

"Animals do not automatically respond to our words, this is another form of communicating with each other."
The IPKat doubts that performances originated by pets would ever constitute copyright-protected subject matter as performances as such or as dramatic works, but the filming or otherwise making a permanent record of such a recording would fall within the scope of neighbouring rights protection. Merpel says, don't forget the risk that your pet may be infringing someone else's copyright if he/she picks up a tune and performs it in public.

Carnival of the Animals here (to listen, click here and scroll down)
The Animals here
Literary works by monkeys here; musical works by Monkees here
Singing dogs here and here

3 comments:

Guy said...

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 seems to permit works created by a computer to have copyright. The problem of the life of a computer is solved by providing a term of 50 years from creation of the work. It would surely be reasonable for all works by animals to have a similar term. What about the pre-war recordings of birds by Ludwig Koch. Does the copyright belong to Koch or the nightingale, etc.?

Tigga said...

The question is.. would it be human years or dog years?!

Anonymous said...

If a cat can invent a cat-flap, I can't see why it's other creative works shouldn't be subject to copyright!

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