Copyright balls: PETA sues over monkey selfie
No pig has sued for being given the wrong sperm. No budgie has called the lawyers for going to an owner they did’t get along with. But give it time. In news from America (natch.) a representative of the rare crested macaque monkey who stars in that fabulous “selfie” should be coining it in.
Naruto, the six-year-old macaque who lives free in the Tangkoko Reserve on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, snapped the selfie in 2011. The camera had been left behind by British photographer David Slater. So it’s his photo, right. Wrong, say the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
The complaint filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco says:
“Naruto has the right to own and benefit from the copyright … in the same manner and to the same extent as any other author.”
Slater says he’s “rather bemused”.
“I am sympathetic in my book for animals having rights to property in some circumstances, but in no way do I mean copyrights. Their focus seems more aimed at making me out to be a criminal than someone who loves and respects and fights for animals. … I have to wonder what are the true motives behind this attack on me.”