Yesterday, before a federal appeals court in San Francisco could answer the question.....Who owns the copyright to this monkey selfie....the monkey or the photographer whose camera captured it?
The case was settled.
- In 2011, photographer David Slater set up a camera in the wild in Sulawesi, Indonesia to capture photos of wildlife
- When he returned to pick up his camera, and scanned the photos, he saw this perfect 'monkey selfie' taken by a macaque monkey named Naruto
- Slater and his company, Wildlife Personalities Ltd, used the image, which generated some significant revenue
- 2015 PETA stepped in and sued on behalf of Naruto saying, since Naruto snapped the photo, HE owns the rights to it.
- Slater's lawyers argued that the company owned the rights to the photo because copyright law did not extend to animals.
- Last year, a district court ruled in favor of Slater.
- PETA took the case to the next level, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals., who heard arguments in July.
- In August, the court was asked 'not to rule' because the parties were considering a settlement.
Yesterday's settlement means the court won't have to answer the question at all.
According to reports, Slater agrees to donate 25% of future revenue from the images to charities dedicated to protecting crested macaques in Indonesia.
In a joint statement, Slater and PETA said:
"PETA and David Slater agree that this case raises important, cutting-edge issues about expanding legal rights for non-human animals, a goal that they both support, and they will continue their respective work to achieve this goal."