Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Nutella Brawl and Monkey Selfie Lawsuit Should Be Combined Into One Awesome Story

Two stories rightfully owned the internet this week.

The first was a 24 year-old kid with a criminal record punching a 78 year-old man in the face over taking too many Nutella waffle samples at Costco. The second was a federal lawsuit brought by PETA on behalf of a crested black macaque named Naturo, claiming that the monkey owns the copyright to a selfie he took with a wildlife photographer's unattended camera.

First, let me say that as a lover of Nutellla, there are certain things in this life that are totes worth punching an old man in the head and facing $50,000 bail and 11 years in prison over. And one of those things is Nutella from Costco, to say nothing of Nutella waffles from Costco. No doubt: I would go full Steven Seagal on my own Granny to get my hands on the last Nutella waffle sample from Costco, and no half-way house resident in a beard net could stop me. Unfortunately, I don't think they serve Nutella in prison. It's more like bologna on white bread with French's yellow mustard (if you're lucky). Or at least that's what I recall from my days visiting convicts and soon-to-be-convicts on Rikers Island and Central Booking in NYC.

Second, let me say that as a lawyer who does mostly defense work, I appreciate a novel claim by plaintiffs. Especially plaintiffs who are even hairier than me, could use a trip to the dentist, and hurl their own feces at the wall just for fun. And I'm pretty sure this is the first federal case brought by a monkey. (You can see why he's suing, btw. The selfie he took is LEGIT and fully worthy of federal copyright protection).

But really these two stories would be better if they were somehow combined into one awesome internet story meme. 

Like, if Naturo the macaque somehow got loose in Costco and punched the 24 year-old in the throat over the Nutella waffles. Then the beard-net wearing sample guy took a picture with the 78 year-old's unattended camera (who'd put it down to grab his own Nutella waffle sample, obvi). Once the story blew up, the beard-net guy--who let's be honest isn't exactly making bank slinging Nutella waffles at Costco--claimed the rights to the pictures in a combination personal injury/copyright lawsuit in federal court. The 24 year-old and the beard-net guy would be co-plaintiffs against co-defendants Naturo the black crested macaque and the 78 year-old man, with cross-claims brought by the macaque and the old guy for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Now that, my friends, would rightfully own the internet for months.


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