Monkeys Can’t Sue Humans

A monkey known as Naruto, has no standing to assert a copyright claim from infringement of photographs known as “Monkey Selfies,” a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

Monkeys can’t sue humans it turns out, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in an opinion by Judge Carlos Bea.

The panel rejected the assertion that the money was the author and owner of the photographs and had suffered concrete economic harm by the infringement.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, as Naruto’s guardian, brought the lawsuit on his behalf. PETA also failed to establish standing to sue for Naruto.

Naruto was a 7-year-old crested macaque that lives on Sulawesi, Indonesia. In 2011, wildlife photographer David Slater, left his camera unattended in the reserve. Naruto allegedly took several photographs of himself with Slater’s camera, creating Monkey Selfies.

Slater and Wildlife Personalities published the Monkey Selfies in a book created in December 2014. Slater identified himself and Wildlife as copyright owners of the selfies in the book. Slater described Naruto as taking the photos.

In 2015, PETA filed a complaint for copyright infringement against Slater and Wildlife, as well as the publisher Blurb Inc.

The trial court dismissed the claims and the appeals court upheld the ruling.

Case: Naruto v. Slater, No. 16-15469



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