Photographer: Monkey selfie lawsuit took toll

Photographer: Monkey selfie lawsuit took toll

Photographer: Monkey selfie lawsuit took toll

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sued on behalf of the monkey in 2015, seeking financial control of the photographs for the benefit of the animal.

The decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling in favor David Slater, the photographer whose camera was used to take the photos.

The monkey in question is Naruto, a crested macaque that lived in a wildlife preserve in Indonesia. The photos, captured when the monkey grabbed Slater's camera, posed and clicked, became an instant hit, appearing in newspapers, magazines, websites and on TV shows around the world.

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The court "missed the point", PETA said in a statement.

"We conclude that this monkey - and all animals, since they are not human - lacks statutory standing under the Copyright Act", Bea said. Always pushing the boundaries of animal rights, PETA argued that Naruto owned the rights to the photos, calling the images "original works of authorship".

Humans are still allowed to file lawsuits on their behalf but the panel of judges suggested that the U.S. Supreme Court should reconsider that ability.

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The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals took up the case last July, with the San Francisco panel asking PETA's attorney why the group should represent the monkey's interests.

Slater and PETA reached a compromise a year ago in which Slater agreed to donate 25 percent of the proceeds from the images to macaque-protection charities. But the 9th Circuit still chose to rule in the important case.

PETA attorney David Schwarz argued that Naruto was accustomed to cameras and took the selfies when he saw himself in the reflection of the lens.

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It wasn't immediately clear how or if Monday's ruling would affect the settlement.

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