PETA Suing On Behalf Of Selfie Monkey For Photo Rights

Whenever you see the word “PETA” in a headline on a Break story, you know it’s not going to end with thoughts like “Well, that was nice of them” or “I’m glad we’ve got PETA around.” It usually ends with thoughts like “How medicated do you have to be to be a member of PETA?” or “I’m so mad at PETA that I wish it was legal to barbecue puppies.” Get ready to have those thoughts again but this time, PETA is actually someone to help a monkey score some serious cash. 

Back in 2011, photographer David Slater was shooting photos of macaques on Sulawest, an island located off the coast of Indonesia. Two of the monkeys got a hold of one of Slater’s cameras and shot some self-portraits. As soon as they hit the web, they went viral and one of them ended up on the blog Techdirt and another on a Wikipedia page. Slater asked them both to take it down claiming that he owned a copyright on the photo but they refused. The US Copyright Office ruled against Slater in 2014 since copyright only protects “original intellectual conceptions of the author.” That should have put the whole matter to rest but PETA stepped and asked the question that no one was thinking because most of us are sane individuals who understand the concept of money: “Hey, wait, what about the monkey?!?” 

PETA filed a federal lawsuit in San Francisco on behalf of the monkey, identified in court records as a 6-year-old named Naruto, claiming that she deserves all proceeds made from the photo along with the rest of the macaques on the island. A lawyer for PETA claims that the US Copyright Office’s ruling means that the monkey deserves to be paid because “The act grants copyright to authors of original works, with no limit on species.”

I’m convinced that this is what happened that led to the Planet of the Apes. 

Source: HuffPo