Monkey Takes Selfie, PETA Says He Owns the Copyright

Posted by Megalith 12:55 PM (CDT)

Saturday July 15, 2017

In 2015, PETA sued British nature photographer David Slater and San Francisco-based self-publishing company Blurb for using a monkey’s selfies in the book "Wildlife Personalities." That case continued this week as a federal appeals court heard arguments on whether an animal can hold a copyright to photos: attorneys for the animal rights organization insist that Naruto, the free-living crested macaque, is accustomed to cameras and clearly deserves copyright protection. "Where does it end? If a monkey can sue for copyright infringement, what else can a monkey do?"

Andrew Dhuey, attorney for British nature photographer David Slater, said "monkey see, monkey sue" is not good law under any federal act. Naruto is a free-living crested macaque who snapped perfectly framed selfies in 2011 that would make even the Kardashians proud. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sued Slater and the San Francisco-based self-publishing company Blurb, which published a book called "Wildlife Personalities" that includes the monkey selfies, for copyright infringement. It sought a court order in 2015 allowing it to administer proceeds from the photos taken in an Indonesian wildlife reserve to benefit the monkey.