Animal Law Review


Dane E. Johnson

First Page



This article explores questions of whether copyright protection can and should extend to works created by captive animals such as gorillas, chimpanzees, and elephants. Commentators have considered similar questions in the artificial intelligence context and generally rejected the notion that computers can create works sufficiently free of human involvement to merit copyright protection. As our understanding of animal intelligence increases, however, the case for reconsideration of copyright’s constitutional and statutory boundaries becomes stronger. This article examines those boundaries and offers a proposal for granting limited copyrights to animals under a theory along the lines of David Favre’s equitable self-ownership concept.

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