A bizarre lawsuit filed by PETA has gone after a man who allowed a monkey to use his camera to take a selfie, creating a fierce debate over who owns the copyright.
A bizarre lawsuit filed by PETA claims that a monkey named Naruto should own the copyright to a collection of selfies he took in 2011. The owner of the camera the monkey used to snap the photos, a wildlife photographer from England, David Slater, believes that the monkey was aware of his actions as he snapped the photos. According to a report from the Examiner, PETA is suing Slater for the profits from Naruto’s Internet fame.
The animal rights organization wants the profits from Naruto’s selfies to benefit the monkey, his family, and the habitat where his species lives. Slater asserts that he was not made rich by the monkey’s selfies and that the drawn out lawsuit is creating a serious dent in his photography business.
Slater stated in his own words that Naruto seemed to be aware of the photos he was taking. PETA believes that any money earned from the shots actually belongs to Naruto and should be appropriated accordingly.
Naruto, a crested black macaque monkey, met Slater while he was walking through the Tangkoko Batuangus Nature Reserve in Indonesia.
According to Wikimedia, a copyright cannot belong to a non-human entity. Slater claims that since the equipment was his, the rights to the photo belong to him. Naruto was unavailable for comment on the case.