Weird monkey selfie lawsuit settled in court

The Associated Press

A photographer from Monmouthshire has agreed a settlement with animal welfare charity Peta in a landmark legal campaign against following two years of courtroom maneuvering.

A British photographer has settled a two-year lawsuit with animal rights group PETA over a monkey "selfie" photo. David Slater from Monmouthshire visited Indonesian jungle in 2011 where a macaque monkey named Naruto took images of himself on Slater's camera.

"This shared goal is far more important than battles over copyright between me and the monkey I want to help", Slater wrote.

Attorneys for the group and, Slater asked the San Francisco-based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss the case and throw out a lower-court decision that said animals can not own copyrights.

In July, both sides argued before a Ninth Circuit panel on PETA's bid to overturn a federal judge's ruling that held animals like Naruto lack standing to sue and can not own copyrights under federal law. According to The Next Web, Slater is still upset with Wikimedia because it has not "backed down" from their stance that the photos are public domain.

After Slater published the photo in a book, PETA sued on behalf of the monkey and said Slater had infringed on Naruto's copyright.

Under the agreement attorneys for both PETA and Slater asked the court to dismiss a lower court's decision that said that animals can not own copyrights.

The case was listed as "Naruto v David Slater" but the identity of the monkey was also under dispute between the animal rights group and Slater.

Mr Slater had contended that his organization, Wildlife Personalities Ltd, possesses overall business rights to the photographs, including the now-celebrated selfie of the monkey's toothy smile.

Since Wikimedia, the US -based not-for-profit behind Wikipedia, refused to recognize Slater's copyright on the image, the photographer said it deprived him of revenue from licensing them for publication. We can all rest assured that, at least for now, the threat of animals becoming our overlords via their accumulation of new rights has dissipated. As part of the settlement, PETA and the defendants are asking the Ninth Circuit to vacate both its appeal and Orrick's opinion, or at least remand to Orrick for consideration of vacatur.

Related News: