In 2011, photographer David Slater was on an animal reserve in Indonesia when he set up a camera and left it unattended.
When he came back for it later, he found several photos of a crested macaque, named Naruto, who appeared to take several photos, including, the perfect smiling 'selfie' of himself!
Slater, later published the photos and that's when PETA got pissed!
In 2015, PETA sued over the photos saying that since Naruto took the photos, he owned the rights to those photos and Slater had no right to publish them.
The two ultimately settled the case out of court, but the 9th Circuit decided to issue a ruling in the case anyway, and so, on Monday, they ruled unanimously that animals could NOT sue for copyright protection.
According to the L.A. Times, in the ruling, Judge Carlos Bea said:
"We must determine whether a monkey may sue humans, corporations, and companies for damages and injunctive relief arising from claims of copyright infringement. We conclude that this monkey — and all animals, since they are not human — lacks statutory standing under the Copyright Act."
Judge N. Randy Smith, concurred and called PETA's lawsuit "frivolous," saying:
"The concept of expanding actual property rights — and rights broadly — to animals necessitates resolving what duties also come with those rights, and, because animals cannot communicate in our language, who stands in their shoes?"
Read the entire ruling HERE.