REMEMBER that monkey who took a selfie and it went viral?
Citing Slater’s own written accounts of his encounter with the macaques, the lawsuit asserts that Naruto “authored the monkey selfies by his own independent, autonomous actions in examining and manipulating Slater’s unattended camera”.
According to Mail Online, the photographer disputed that copyright ownership can not be given to animals as stated by the updated compendium issued by the US Copyright Office in 2014.
If PETA wins it will be the second time an animal would have won rights in a human court.
“While the claim of authorship by species other than homo sapiens may be novel, ‘authorship; under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq., is sufficiently broad so as to permit the protections of the law to extend to any original work, including those created by Naruto”, PETA said in the, reports CNN. Thinking he owns the copyright to the monkey selfies, Slater published the pictures in his book.
Naruto, a crested black macaque monkey, met Slater while he was walking through the Tangkoko Batuangus Nature Reserve in Indonesia.
“The facts are that I was the intellect behind the photos, I set the whole thing up”, he said in an email.
The bigger question now is whether a monkey can hold a legal copyright to a selfie.
Cheese! Naruto the macaque monkey. “I have very little else to offer her”. We discuss the lawsuit’s chance of success, and the movement to apply legal concepts of personhood to animals. A federal judge dismissed the suit, saying the 13th Amendment applied only to humans.
PETA said it was taking legal action on Naruto’s behalf because he could not “due to inaccessibility and incapacity” and that the court had jurisdiction because the book was on sale in the US.
Laurence Tribe, a Harvard Law School professor who supports animal rights, expressed misgivings about the litigation.