'Monkey Selfie' Appellate Ruling Finds Animals Can't File Copyright Suits

27 April, 2018, 01:13 | Author: Stuart Potter
  • The court ruled that Slater was entitled to attorneys fees in the case and sent it back to the district court to determine the amount

The viral selfie taken by Naruto the macaque monkey using photographer David J. Slater's camera is displayed at the Museum of Selfies, in Glendale, Calif., at a March 29 exhibition.

The monkey, named Naruto, snapped several photos on a camera set up by Slater, prompting the activists from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) group to file a lawsuit on Naruto's behalf. They're not the only one to contest the ownership of the photo (*cough*Wikimedia*cough*), but the legal battles got to the point where Slater was considering "packing it all in".

The judge said Mr Slater is entitled to lawyers' fees and sent the case back to a district court to determine the amount. Nevertheless, PETA apparently obtained something from the settlement with Slater, although not anything that would necessarily go to Naruto: As "part of the arrangement", Slater agreed to pay a quarter of his earnings from the monkey-selfie book "to charities that protect the habitat of Naruto and other crested macaques in Indonesia".

In a statement, PETA's general counsel, Jeff Kerr, complained that Naruto was discriminated against because "he's a nonhuman animal".

Naruto "lacked statutory standing" for such legal move, they said, as the law reserved that power for humans.

The case settled after the parties argued before the 9th Circuit last July, but the appeals court decided it would rule on the matter anyway.

Seriously PETA has been trying to fight to grant copyright to a monkey that wasn't even in the photo.

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During oral arguments in the case, the ninth circuit judges focused on the withdrawal from the case of Naruto's "next friend", Dr Antje Engelhardt, who was said to have had a "significant relationship" with Naruto.

In its ruling, the ninth circuit panel said that PETA had failed to meet the "significant relationship" requirement, and could not sue as Naruto's next friend.

"It remains unclear what claims PETA purported to be 'settling, ' since the court was under the impression this lawsuit was about Naruto's claims".

A court case out of California is bananas!

"It is clear: PETA's real motivation, in this case, was to advance its own interests, not Naruto's".

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with a blow to the rights of animals.

Nevertheless, PETA still found a glimmer of victory in the 9th Circuit's ruling.


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