Judge Rules That Monkey Does Not Own Copyright of Famous Selfie
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.”