A macaque monkey who took now-famous selfie photographs cannot be declared the copyright owner of the photos, a federal judge said.
U.S. District Judge William Orrick said in federal court in San Francisco Wednesday that “while Congress and the president can extend the protection of law to animals as well as humans, there is no indication that they did so in the Copyright Act.”
The lawsuit filed last year by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sought a court order allowing PETA to represent the monkey and let it to administer all proceeds from the photos for the benefit of the monkey, which it identified as 6-year-old Naruto, and other crested macaques living in a reserve on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
The photos were taken during a 2011 trip to Sulawesi with an unattended camera owned by British nature photographer David Slater, who asked the court to dismiss the case. Slater says the British copyright obtained for the photos by his company, Wildlife Personalities Ltd., should be honored worldwide.
PETA sued Slater and his San Francisco-based self-publishing company Blurb, which published a book called “Wildlife Personalities” that includes the “monkey selfie” photos.
The photos have been widely distributed elsewhere by outlets, including Wikipedia, which contend that no one owns the copyright to the images because they were taken by an animal, not a person.
Slater described himself as a nature photographer who is deeply concerned about animal welfare in court documents and said it should up to the U.S. Congress and not a federal court to decide whether copyright law applies to non-human animals.
Jeff Kerr, general counsel for PETA, said the organization will continue fighting for the monkey’s rights.
“Despite this setback, legal history was made today because we argued to a federal court why Naruto should be the owner of the copyright rather than been seen as a piece of property himself,” Kerr said. “This case is also exposing the hypocrisy of those who exploit animals for their own gain.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Ronald L Dodd says
Let me see if I get this right. The monkey took the picture of himself and therefore should receive the copyrights (and the money) AND PETA will be the outfit “administering” the funds for the benefit of the monkey. Then the federal judge says this is BS and that the funds should go to humans, not NON-humans. Then PETA says they are going to continue fighting for the “animals rights” (money). Next thing you know our stupid congress will pass a law making Monkey’s human. This world has become so crazy that I am looking forward to leaving it. I truly believe that there is evil in the world and we are in our last days. ‘Nuff said. Ye Olde Road Warrior
So well said! When I read this, I was like…WHAT????
The world is crazy and sane people have to live in it with the crazies. Unfortunately, the crazies aren’t considered, nor would they be considered, “crazy”, ever (at least many of them). They are just deceitful, evil, dirty rotten scoundrel people and the problem is really “ethics”. We have an ethics problem in America and whether anyone is a Christian or not, it started and has spiraled as God was removed from everything and soon it will be the home if the “ethics” people have anything to do with it. I am not speaking a political party even though there is one that I can think of that has many who would like that. I am speaking of our American people in general. The more we have moved away from God, He is removing his blessings from this nation. I bet this will not even be posted by AOL because we are controlled and cannot even express our opinions anymore in America.
Lol…this is Horn News…ha ha! Sorry! I guess I can state my opinion!
Not So Free says
PATHETIC PEOPLE EATING TASTY ANIMALS
The total absurdity of today’s society is sickeningly out of hand. I completely understand Donald L. Dodd’s dismay.
Peta people are pitas..pains
Of most people.
Clearly, an animal can have no rights, as it lacks an intellect and therefore a moral sense. PETA and those who share their distorted perception of the world, are dangerous lunatics. The same applies to the EPA, and others who wish to impede industrial progress – those who are too blind to see the glory in man’s conquest of nature.
The Application to become a member of PETA….Has One Question….ARE YOU TOTALLY MENTALLY INSANE….If the Answer is YES….You just became a Lifetime Member…
Peta has a real problem trying to figure the difference between man and animals.
I just hope they don’t start trying to sleep with them.
They are not even mentioned in the Ten Commandments!
I would protect animals fervently, but I know the difference.
Peta, stop denying us our freedoms. WE are losing enough of them at an alarming
rate as it is!
Some animals do have an intellect and a soul, I believe but, definitely not like a human. There is a difference. I agree we should consider them AND industrial progress to find ways to protect nature while still progressing and I am a Conservative. However, this is insane!
Yes, there are two things going on here…
1. PETA is trying to deceptively get its hands on $$$ but, not to fight for this animal. No, No! It is to progress their own self-serving agenda in politics and through the legal system.
2. PETA is more focused on pushing its own agenda than the actual $$$ and make it okay to sleep with animals as humans.
At least that is my opinion. 🙂
Does PETA also defend the rights of the US president ?
trumpt blast says
lets look at what would happen if peta had won they would take ( steal ) a photo journalist / naturist well earned money and “” set up a fund to protect an animal that they think is their uncle !! ? what will they do with the large operating fee they will get as administers ??? make more highly edited videos of supposed animal cruelty in order to get all humans to eat greens only ??? and stuff the rest in their leader’s pockets like all other such groups that claim to help their target cause !!!
peta pervert every thing always