High Court Says Monkeys Do Not Own the Copyright of Their Own Selfies

BREAKING NEWS!! Monkeys do not own the copyright of their own selfies. This news is sure to have a dramatic effect on the world economy. Monkey activists across the globe are sure to seriously contemplate an appeal to this dreadful legal conclusion.

This ruling was the result of a two-year court battle between a photographer versus an angry animal rights group who demanded that the monkey had a legal claim over a “monkey selfie” photo. Attempts to get a comment from the monkey were unsuccessful.

Should Monkeys Earn Money from their Own Selfies?

This dreadful news will surely cause lots of mental distress to selfie-taking chimps across the globe. A heartless judge went and dismissed this case that PETA had placed against David Slater (the photographer). PETA made the claim that a macaque known as Naruto happened to be the rightful copyright owner of this photo after she had gotten the camera that Slater owned and took a selfie of herself. The event took place in 2011.  This particular case was under an appeal when the court had previously ruled that the copyright protection law should not apply to monkeys. This previous ruling angered PETA causing them to appeal the case on behalf of the monkey. The monkey rendered no comment on the matter.  

Were the Rights of Monkeys Worldwide Violated?

After the court’s decision, oddly enough, PETA and also Slater decided to make a joint statement agreeing that the court case “raises important, cutting-edge issues about expanding legal rights for nonhuman animals.

Slater also announced that 25% of future revenue from the photo will go to charities “dedicated to protecting the welfare or habitat of Naruto.”

Naruto, the monkey of the question, in this case, had taken the photo in a jungle in Indonesia when it had picked up the camera which was owned by Mister Slater who comes from Monmouthshire.

Judges from the United States had previously proclaimed that the copyright protection laws may not be legally applied in this case as the monkey is a nonhuman. However, PETA felt that animals ought to benefit from their own creations.

This case had been appropriately listed as “Naruto v David Slater”. However, there was some dispute about the gender of the monkey as PETA made the claim that Naruto was a female, whereas Mr. Slater said that it was a male macaque. No identification papers for the monkey were presented. It had been suggested to submit photos of the monkey’s genitalia to court, but there were no assurances that such images had been actually taken of Naruto instead of another monkey.

Sadly, in the end, Naruto came up short after the appeal judges in a San Francisco court agreed with Mr. Slater and ruled in his favor – this coming after a legal battle that had roared on for two years.

The ensuing statement issued by both PETA and Mr. Slater was considered to be a happy ending for everyone. If anything, it certainly raised the overall awareness concerning the rights of animals and other non-humans. Wonder if aliens fall in this category?

Do you believe that monkeys do not own the copyright of their own selfies?