Lawsuit Asserts Monkey’s Copyright To Grinning ‘Selfie’

There’s a British colloquialism that the law is an ass (as in donkey, not posterior), but a new lawsuit in California has the potential to make a monkey of copyright law, reports Reuters:

A rare crested macaque monkey who snapped a well-known, grinning “selfie” should be declared the photo’s owner and receive damages for copyright infringement after it was used in a wildlife book, animal rights activists argued in a federal lawsuit filed on Tuesday.

Photo: PETA

Photo: PETA

 

Naruto, a six-year-old macaque who lives free in the Tangkoko Reserve on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, took the image and several others about four years ago using a camera left unattended by British photographer David Slater, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said in the suit.

The so-called Monkey Selfies that resulted came from “a series of purposeful and voluntary actions by Naruto, unaided by Slater,” said the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

“Naruto has the right to own and benefit from the copyright … in the same manner and to the same extent as any other author,” the suit said…

[continues at Reuters]

majestic

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