Monkey Selfie Case Resolved!
Back in August 2014 we wrote an article about the case of a monkey taking a selfie and the highly publicised argument about who owned the copyright over the image.
The whole story started back in 2011 in Sulawesi Indonesia when a macaque monkey, called Naruta, used the unattended camera of British photographer David Slater to take some photos of himself!
The photos of the monkey were later published in a book by David Slater called Wildlife Personalities. However, the images have been widely distributed online, including Wikipedia and in 2014 David Slater attempted to have Wikipedia remove the images claiming he had sole ownership of the images.
Wikipedia refused to take down the photos stating that no one owns the copyright to the images because they were taken by an animal, not a person.
As a consequence of this action, last year a lawsuit was filed against David Slater by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to obtain a court order to allow PETA to administer all proceeds from the photos for the benefit of 6 year old Naruta.
David Slater says the British copyright obtained for the photos by his company, Wildlife Personalities Ltd, should be honoured worldwide and asked for the case to be dismissed.
Finally, in San Francisco, during January of this year US District Judge William Orrick ruled that Naruta the macaque monkey who took the now famous selfie photographs ‘cannot be declared the copyright owner of the photos’
The judge stated that ‘while Congress can extend the protection of certain laws to animals, there’s no indication that they have done so in the Copyright Act’.
The US Copyright Office has also amended its policies stipulating that it would only register copyrights for works produced by human beings and specified that work produce by animals would not qualify.
So, there we have it after almost 5 years Naruta the monkey does not own the copyright to his selfies!!