PETA, photographer reach settlement in 'monkey selfie' case

One of the monkey selfies which triggered the court case
Credit
David J Slater  Caters News Agency

One of the monkey selfies which triggered the court case Credit David J Slater Caters News Agency

Under the deal, the photographer whose camera was used to take the photo agreed to donate 25% of any future revenue of the images to charities dedicated to protecting crested macaques in Indonesia, lawyers for an animal-rights group said.

The understanding conveys to a conclusion to a debate which began in 2011 when Mr Slater went to Sulawesi, Indonesia, and spent seven days taking pictures of macaques. Websites like Wikipedia claimed the photos existed in the public domain.

At that point notwithstanding the US Copyright Office deciding that creatures couldn't possess copyright, an American philanthropy, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), entered the shred.

While Naruto didn't win the legal right to own the famous monkey selfies, he can thump his chest in a victory of sorts.

He said he would even consider becoming a tennis coach and that he could not afford to run a auto.

PETA lost the case at a district court level, but took it to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, with Judges Carlos Bea, Randy Norman Smith and Eduardo Robreno questioning counsel for all parties involved.

The weird legal journey began when a crested macaque monkey named Naruto took selfies using British nature photographer David Slater's camera during a 2011 trip to Indonesia.

Lawyers for Mr Slater, from Chepstow in Monmouthshire, argued at the 9th Circuit in San Francisco that he could not be sued because his accuser was a monkey - and may not even be the right one.

PETA claimed that Naruto should have the same rights as a human and that it was a test case for broader animal rights.

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