Settlement Reached: 'Monkey Selfie' Case Broke New Ground for Animal Rights
13 September, 2017, 01:22
In a joint statement from Peta and Mr Slater, it said the photographer will give a quarter of the funds he receives from selling the monkeyselfies to registered charities "dedicated to protecting the welfare or habitat of Naruto". Slater said that a monkey could not own copyrights, and the two parties were engaged in a bitter legal battle that finally culminated this week.
A black macaque with a goofy grin snapped itself in Indonesia while staring down the lens of camera belonging to David Slater in 2011.
There was no mention of attorney fees, which are recoverable in copyright cases.
Mr. Slater could not be reached for comment, and his lawyer declined to comment. That part of the settlement (PDF) remained confidential.
Attorneys for the group and the photographer, David Slater, on Monday asked the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss the case and throw out a lower-court decision that said animals can not own copyrights.
WIPR reported that Judge William Orrick had rejected PETA's claim in January 2016, and stated that any copyright ownership by animals is a matter for Congress, not the courts.
The photographer has revealed that he deliberately made the camera accessible to the macaque monkeys, spending three days with them in 2008 in order to gain their trust. He announced on his website last month that he would begin donating 10 percent of sales to a monkey conservation project in Sulawesi, Indonesia.
PETA added that it will continue working "to establish legal rights for animals". The two have been in settlement discussions at least since August 7.
The photographer objected to publications using the image without his permission.
The photographer had argued PETA lacked standing to sue as a next friend of Naruto because the only next-friend plaintiff with a real-life connection to Naruto, German zoologist Antje Engelhardt, withdrew from the case on appeal. Apart from Slater, the publisher - Blurb, was also sued for infringement. The photos became known as the famous "monkey selfies".
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