Battle over selfies taken by macaque monkey back to court

This 2011 photo provided by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) shows a selfie taken by a macaque monkey on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi with a camera that was positioned by British nature photographer David Slater. The photo is part of a court exhibit in a lawsuit filed by PETA in San Francisco on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, which says that the monkey, and not Slater, should be declared the copyright owner of the photos. Slater has argued that, as the “intellect behind the photos,” he is the copyright owner since he set up the camera so that such a photo could be produced if a monkey approached it and pressed the button. (David Slater/Court exhibit provided by PETA via AP)


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The battle over now-famous selfie photographs taken by a macaque monkey will head back to federal court.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco on Wednesday will hear arguments on whether an animal can own the copyright to a photograph. The proceedings will be broadcast online.

The lawsuit filed in 2015 by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sought a court order allowing PETA to administer all proceeds from the photos for the benefit of the monkey, which it identified as Naruto.

The photos were taken during a 2011 trip to Sulawesi, Indonesia, with British nature photographer David Slater’s camera.

Slater says the British copyright obtained for the photos by his company, Wildlife Personalities Ltd., should be honored worldwide

A federal judge last year ruled that the monkey cannot be declared the photos’ copyright owner.


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