Do Monkeys Have the Same Copyright Interests as Humans?

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is not backing down in its fight for copyrights for monkeys. This fight began about five years ago when a photographer, David Slater, was in Indonesia taking pictures of monkeys when Naruto, a now famous monkey, grabbed his camera to snap a selfie. Since then, Naruto’s renowned “Monkey Selfie” has appeared on websites and in a book. PETA sued Slater arguing that Naruto has the same rights in his photograph as any human would have in their…
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Quit Monkeying Around! Judge Dismisses PETA’s Copyright Suit in Monkey Selfie Case

If Congress intended to give animals standing in the Copyright Act, “they would have done so plainly,” said California U.S. District Court Judge William H. Orrick III. In 2015, photographer David Slater published a photo in which a monkey — a crested macaque, to be exact — took a picture of itself with Slater’s camera. PETA sued Slater and his publisher under the Copyright Act, arguing the primate should be “declared the author and owner of his photograph.” However, in a preliminary ruling on January…
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Totally Bananas? Court Urged to Dismiss Monkey’s Copyright Suit

A California federal court was hit with two motions to dismiss Monday, November 10, 2015, arguing that a monkey does not have standing to sue in a United States courtroom.  This case relates to the famous “Monkey Selfie” photo that went viral a few years ago (which has already seen its fair share of litigation to date).  Yet, it is not a person arguing that they have copyright protection over the photograph this time — rather, it is the monkey’s rights that have allegedly been…
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No Copyright Protection in a Monkey ‘Selfie’

The U.S. Copyright Office responded to a somewhat unconventional photograph of a female macaque monkey. The Copyright Office stated that “a photograph taken by a monkey” is not eligible for copyright protection. In 2011, British photographer David J. Slater spent three days in Indonesia to photograph black macaque monkeys. During the three days, a female macaque snatched Slater’s camera and snapped a few pictures. One picture in particular was a macaque smiling into the camera; thus, the first monkey ‘selfie’ was born. Slater sold the…
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