PETA decided to bring a lawsuit against David Slater, a nature photographer who used a selfie photo of a Macaque Monkey named Naruto. The photo was taken by Naturo back in 2011 when Slater left his camera unattended in Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Slater then used the photo, which prompted PETA to bring a lawsuit on behalf of Naturo.
The lawyer for PETA, Jeffrey Kerr, said of the lawsuit back in 2017, “When science and technology advance, the law adapts. There is nothing in the Copyright Act limiting ownership based on species, and PETA is asking for an interpretation of the act that acknowledges today’s scientific consensus that macaque monkeys can create an original work.”
The lawsuit was brought in 2015, with PETA attempting to force any monies gained from the photo to go to benefit the monkey. PETA, of course, would be the one to administer these funds. They would also be the ones to determine what’s best for Naruto.
The lawsuit has been trudging along for quite some time until it has just recently been given a ruling by the 9th circuit US appeals court. The court ruled that the lawsuit would not go forward as lawsuits cannot be filed in the name of claiming that a monkey had some sort of copyright claim over anything. Further, they elaborated that animals cannot hold a copyright for anything.
Someone needs to tell them that humans are animals too, so therefore, maybe the whole IP/Copyright thing can die for them as well.