No, Judge In Federal Appeals Court Rules, A Monkey Can’t Copyright His Selfies

Black Chimpanzee Smiling

The Crow here for

“We must determine whether a monkey may sue humans, corporations, and companies for damages and injunctive relief arising from claims of copyright infringement,” Judge Carlos Bea wrote in the opinion for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. “We conclude that this monkey — and all animals, since they are not human — lacks statutory standing under the Copyright Act.” And who knows if animals want to collect royalties, the judge wrote. A monkey can’t sue over copyright infringement of his selfies because he’s not human and therefore has no standing to do so, a federal appeals court ruled on Monday. Essentially, the photogenic animal took his own selfies, argued People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Brown Gray Primate

The case involved a series of heart-melting snaps of Naruto, a grinning crested macaque, in 2011. British nature photographer David Slater set up a camera in an Indonesian forest, and Naruto somehow tripped the camera himself (Slater was not on the scene). PETA argued that Naruto owned the rights to the photos, calling the images “original works of authorship.” PETA sued Slater when he sold some of the photos in 2015. Always pushing the boundaries of animal rights.

Yellow and Black Baboon

PETA’s initial lawsuit was dismissed on the grounds that a monkey lacks standing to sue over copyright. (“Monkey see, monkey sue is not good law,” noted that ruling). Both sides eventually reached a settlement, with Slater agreeing to donate 25 percent of future income from the Naruto photos to protect habitats where crested macaques live. But the 9th Circuit still decided to rule in the important case. The court didn’t sound very happy with PETA, saying in a footnote that the organization “seems to employ Naruto as an unwitting pawn in its ideological goals.”. The full story can be read in it’s entirety at

The Crow is a contributing writer for

http://BBC News

http://PETA Foundation

9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Copyright Act.

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