Culture

Settlement Reached in Bananas "Selfie Monkey" Lawsuit

Settlement Reached in Bananas

According to a report by BBC, PETA wanted the copyrights to be transferred to Naruto, the monkey but the photographer claimed otherwise.

Attorneys for the group and the photographer, David Slater, on Monday asked the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss the case and throw out a lower-court decision that said animals can not own copyrights.

In 2011, Naruto, a curious 6-year-old monkey in Indonesia, peered into a camera lens, grinned and pressed the shutter button on the unattended camera.

The camera's owner, David J. Slater, agreed to donate 25% of future revenue of the images taken by the monkey to charitable organisations that protect Naruto, who lives in the Tangkoko Reserve on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, and other crested macaques.

The ensuing "monkey selfies" quickly went viral and were featured in a 2014 photography book by Slater called "Wildlife Personalities". This opinion was backed by an American charity, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), who in 2015 sued Slater, arguing the photo belonged to one of the macaques named Naruto. "If a human being had made this or similar selfie photographs, they would be the copyright owner of the photograph. Naruto is no different since he is a macaque".

Slater argued that he should own commercial rights to the photograph because he set up the camera and encouraged the monkeys to use it. "It required a lot of knowledge on my behalf, a lot of perseverance, sweat and anguish, and all that stuff".

Following the federal court decision in January 2016, PETA appealed to the US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which heard oral arguments in July 2017. PETA's general counsel, Jeff Kerr, said the deal would offer protection to the crested macaque whose existence is threatened by poaching.

Perhaps it's for the best that "selfie rat", yet another famous animal photographer, turned out to be a hoax.



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