Judge Rules That Monkey Does Not Own Copyright of Famous Selfie

Posted on Other Stuff 26

In 2011, photographer David Slater traveled to a monkey reserve in Indonesia. During his visit, he left his camera unattended and a photogenic primate named Naruto got hold of it. The young macaque monkey snapped a charming series of selfies that, once released, quickly went viral. Years later, these adorable images were the subject of a lawsuit to determine who holds the rightful copyright: Slater and his company, Blurb, or Naruto, since he was the one to actually snap the selfie?

On Wednesday, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled on the issue, declaring that a monkey cannot be the copyright holder of the photos. According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge William Orrick explained, “While Congress and the president can extend the protection of law to animals as well as humans, there is no indication that they did so in the Copyright Act.”



PIC BY A WILD MONKEY / DAVID SLATER / CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: One of the photos that the monkey took with Davids camera. 1 of 2: This photo was the original photo the monkey took) - The photographer behind the famous monkey selfie picture is threatening to take legal action against Wikimedia after they refused to remove his picture because ‘the monkey took it’. David Slater, from Coleford, Gloucestershire, was taking photos of macaques on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi in 2011 when the animals began to investigate his equipment. A black crested macaque appeared to be checking out its appearance in the lens and it wasn’t long before it hijacked the camera and began snapping away. SEE CATERS COPY.