Ketzel Cotel 1992-2011

Ketzel the composing cat.Before anyone else emails the IPKat to tell him, let him tell you: yes, he does know that Ketzel the cat (right) is dead.  This sad piece of news, which was broken by the New York Times's City Room blog on Tuesday, was communicated to him by fellow blogger and copyright commentator Howard Knopf, whose piece on Excess Copyright you can read here.

The death of any cat is a misfortune on this part of the blogosphere, where feline fortunes are followed with affection and concern.  The demise of a cat who created an "exquisite atonal miniature" in the style of Anton Webern is a matter of sadness for us all.  Ketzel, who composed and received royalties in her professional name of Ketzel Cotel, is said to have applied for membership of ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Pussycats Publishers).  The IPKat hopes that Ketzel's end was more peaceful than that of Webern, who was accidentally shot by an American soldier when he nipped outside during a curfew to enjoy a cigar.

On an equally serious note, the question whether animals are entitled to copyright in their compositions is one which has been aired at some length in recent days: in "Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkey Get Copyright Too", the IPKat's friend and fellow blogger Aurelia J. Schultz posted this item on the 1709 Blog concerning a report in the Daily Mail that a black macaque [Merpel says, that sounds more like a cocktail than a monkey] had taken a photographer's camera on which she took some photographs. No doubt readers of this blog will have their own opinions on this topic.


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