Lawsuit settled over rights to monkey's selfie photo


PETA disputed Slater's ownership, launching a legal battle arguing that Naruto was the author of the photo and therefore entitled to the copyright.

We brought word last month that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was in the works of dropping its federal lawsuit that sought to win the right for animals to own property.

PETA claimed that Naruto should have the same rights as a human and that it was a test case for broader animal rights. We can all rest assured that, at least for now, the threat of animals becoming our overlords via their accumulation of new rights has dissipated. The publisher, Blurb, was also sued for infringement.

The lawyers notified the appeals court on August 4 that they were nearing a settlement and asked the 9th Circuit not to rule. A court agreed with that argument a January 2016 provisional ruling, but PETA appealed the decision.

Slater's joy was short lived however when Peta threw its full weight behind the animal, seeking to ensure that it should benefit from any royalties attached to the image as opposed to the photographer.

While Naruto didn't win the legal right to own the famous monkey selfies, he can thump his chest in a victory of sorts. Twenty-five percent of future revenue from the photos will go to organizations dedicated to protecting his habitat and species.

But now that they've settled, the parties involved say this case raises cutting-edge issues about expanding legal rights for non-human animals - a goal they all support.

David Slater, the picture taker whose camera was seized by a peaked dark macaque, has consented to give 25 for every penny of the sovereignties produced by the photographs with creature foundations devoted to securing the monkeys' characteristic territory.