Court: Copyright suit not allowed for selfie-taking monkey

Court: Copyright suit not allowed for selfie-taking monkey

Court: Copyright suit not allowed for selfie-taking monkey

The answer, just to relieve any suspense, was no, monkeys can't own copyrights or bring copyright infringement suits, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled Monday, upholding a lower court.

It's been about seven years since Ella, an Indonesian macaque monkey, snapped a picture of herself with a camera belonging to David Slater.

The legal battle over the viral monkey selfie is finally over.

An appeals court in NY previous year rejected the chimpanzee case, saying there was no legal precedent for the animals being considered people, and their cognitive capabilities didn't mean they could be held legally accountable for their actions.

In January 2016 a San Francisco Judge ruled that an animal can not claim copyrights for images. In any event, the law does not permit animals to be represented by a next friend, he said.

The court stripped down PETA in its decision, stating in a footnote that PETA "seems to employ Naruto as an unwitting pawn in its ideological goals".

The case was brought in a US court because Slater's book was available for sale in the United States.

"We gravely doubt that PETA can validly assert "next friend" status to represent claims made for the monkey both (1) because PETA has failed to allege any facts to establish the required significant relationship between a next friend and a real party in interest and (2) because an animal cannot be represented, under our laws, by a "next friend", added the court.

In its 2015 complaint, PETA requested that any profits derived from the photo should be spent on the monkey and preserving its habitat, as the copyright belongs to him.

Following oral arguments, Slater and PETA announced in September that they had reached a settlement under which Slater agreed to donate 25 percent of any future revenue from the images to charities dedicated to protecting crested macaques in Indonesia. Lawyers then asked the 9th Circuit to dismiss the case. While a settlement might sound like a good thing when it comes to lawsuits, Judge Smith believes PETA settled before the Court of Appeals could hand down its verdict to protect itself from a "possible negative, precedential ruling". The Hollywood Reporter, the Recorder and the Associated Press have stories. Essentially, the photogenic animal took his own selfies, argued People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

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