University Library News
Georgia State University

Research in the Raw: Greg Lisby

In the past 25 years, Communication Law has shifted its focus dramatically — from an emphasis on protecting freedom of speech to protecting the money-making opportunities resulting from freedom of speech, from a focus on the First Amendment to a focus on Intellectual Property Law. This is what the Supreme Court meant when it stated that copyright is the “engine of free expression,” which is based on the premise that people do not engage in free expression without the ability to profit financially. Whatever one thinks of this new conceptualization of free expression, it is what has led us directly (if we may steal an alliterative phrase from Perry Mason) to “The Case of the Smiling Simian Selfie.”

Can a non-human take a selfie, and if so, who owns the photograph? Communication law expert Gregory Lisby, Professor and Chair of Communication at Georgia State University and a licensed attorney in the state of Georgia, will be discussing the infamous “monkey selfie” case, stemming from apparent “selfies” of macaque monkeys taken using photographer Greg Slater’s equipment and which were later published in newspapers in the summer of 2011.

In his presentation “‘Selfies,’ Ownership and Copyright in the Digital Age,” Greg will be discussing these images in the context of questions of personhood, originality, intellectual property ownership, and, of course, whether a monkey can be an author Greg will discuss the infamous 2013 “monkey selfie” case and place it in the context of legal ownership. Greg is the second speaker in the University Library’s new Research in the Raw series.

Research in the Raw is a series of informal talks in which GSU faculty

One of the photos that the monkey took with Slater’s camera.

members share work-in-progress. The series is brought to you by the Library’s Department of Research and Engagement.


Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018


Colloquium Room, 8th Floor Library South

Register to attend