Monkey selfie case ends

Monkey selfie case ends

The dispute stemmed from a famous image that Naruto, a rare crested macaque who lives on a nature reserve, snapped using a camera that British photographer David Slater left mounted and unattended during a 2011 trip to Indonesia. The settlement, the court argued, could not have benefited Naruto since he was not a party to the settlement and, when it came down to it, Naruto still didn't own the copyright to profit from his newfound selfie fame.

An appeals court in NY previous year rejected a case involving two chimpanzees, saying there was no legal precedent for the animals being considered people, and their cognitive capabilities didn't mean they could be held legally accountable for their actions. As part of the settlement, 25% of future proceeds from "any or all of the monkey selfies" will be donated to charities dedicated to protecting crested macaques in Indonesia.

Bea said PETA had not established a significant relationship with Naruto and "we gravely doubt that PETA can validly assert "next friend" status".

PETA appealed that ruling to the 9th Circuit.

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The court stripped down PETA in its decision, stating in a footnote that PETA "seems to employ Naruto as an unwitting pawn in its ideological goals".

The absence of a next friend doesn't necessarily doom Naruto's lawsuit, the 9th Circuit held, so it went on to address the merits of the case. 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 a pressed the button.

In its ruling, the ninth circuit panel said that PETA had failed to meet the "significant relationship" requirement, and could not sue as Naruto's next friend. He said the move led him to believe PETA's "real motivation in this case was to advance its own interests, not Naruto's".

Along with dismissing the lawsuit, the judges also approved Slater's request for attorney fees.

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"Allowing next-friend standing on behalf of animals allows lawyers (as in Cetacean) and various interest groups (as here) to bring suit on behalf of those animals or objects with no means or manner to ensure the animals' interests are truly being expressed or advanced", Smith writes.

PETA appealed that ruling to the 9th Circuit.

"I was making no money from photography, which is a hard industry to begin with", Slater, 53, said.

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