PETA Sues ‘Monkey Selfie’ Photographer For A Ridiculous Reason, Loses The Case After A Long Battle


In 2011, photos called ‘Monkey Selfie’ surfed the Internet as one the funniest and most precious images you could find online. The photos were taken by the black macaque themselves, and even though it sounds like a very interesting coincidence, the fact the monkey took the photo is the reason we are still talking about this picture to this day. So, it has been 7 years, why is it still so important?

David Slater, a photographer from England has traveled to Indonesia where he befriended a group of black macaque monkeys. Wishing to make the best shot possible, Slater has set all of his camera equipment and let the monkeys play with it. As you can see, the result was incredibly good – the monkeys started taking pictures of themselves capturing the best selfies ever made. What a great shot he managed to capture, right? But… did he really? Isn’t it the monkey that took it? Well, that’s where PETA comes to this story. In 2015, PETA filed a lawsuit against David Slater, stating that the monkey (named Naruto) is the one that should own the copyrights to the photo. And as ridiculous as this sounds, they declared that this is how the copyright law works – the one who captures the photo is the owner of it. In their lawsuit, Peta declared themselves as Naruto’s ‘Next Friends’ representing him in court since the monkey himself is unable to do it.

An ongoing battle has ended last month with the court deciding in favor of David Slater, stating that humans can file copyright lawsuits, not animals. Slater has also agreed to donate 25% of his profits from the photos to charities to protect Naruto. If you enjoy Slater’s work as much as we do, you should check out his personal website. (h/t)

In 2011, a photographer David Slater became famous with his photo series named ‘Monkey Selfie’ showing  black macaque monkeys taking pictures of themselves with his camera

Image source: David J Slater

He traveled to Indonesia where he befriended the monkeys, in order to get the best shot possible, he set up his equipment and let the monkeys play with it

Image source: David J Slater

What a great photo he took! But… is he really the owner of the photo, since it was taken by the monkeys themselves?

Image source: David J Slater

Wel, PETA has decided to file a copyright lawsuit against David Slater, stating that according to the law, the monkey named Naruto is the one who owns the photo

Image Source: Robyn Beck

PETA declared themselves as Naruto’s ‘Next Friends’ representing him in court since the monkey himself is unable to do it

Image source: Stefano Unterthiner

The lawsuit ended this month when the court ruled in favor of David Slater stating that humans can file copyright lawsuits, not animals

Image source: Stefano Unterthiner

Knowing that these monkeys are endangered species, Slater has agreed to donate 25% of his profits from these photos to charities that protect Naruto

Image source: David J Slater

The court did express concern that PETA was motivated to promote their own interests and not to protect the legal rights of animals

Image source: Stefano Unterthiner

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