14 Sep'17

Lawsuit over monkey selfie has finally been settled

A court has ruled in favour of the photographer, David Slater, stating that the copyright protection could not be applied to the monkey. BBC reports.

In 2011 a macaque monkey called Naruto took a selfie in the Indonesian jungle with David Slater’s camera.


The People for the Ethnic Treatment of Animals (PETA) foundation argued that the monkey should benefit from the copyright protection law.


Although PETA’s appeal was dismissed by the court, Mr Slater agreed to donate 25% of any future revenue to charities that aim to protect the ‘welfare or habitat of Naruto’.


PETA perceived this case more as an animal rights issue, rather than copyright. PETA’s lawyer stated that the ‘case sparked a massive international discussion about the need to extend fundamental right to animals for their own sake’.


The law appears to see this as more of a copyright case seeing as no animals were injured in the process of the selfie taking, nor their habitat.


Animal rights is an important issue to be discussed and a concern to be taken seriously. But was this court case really an example of an animal rights debate? Did a two year court case, expending resources, time and money really need to occur?