SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A settlement has been reached in a case which sought to determine copyright ownership of selfie photos taken by a monkey.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on Monday announced the settlement in the so-called “monkey selfie” lawsuit against a photographer and his San Francisco-based publishing firm.

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The suit against David Slater and Blurb – which published a book called “Wildlife Personalities” featuring the monkey selfies – claimed copyright infringement and sought to use proceeds from the photos to benefit the crested macaque, named Naruto.

The monkey snapped a handful of perfectly-framed selfies using Slater’s unattended camera in 2011. PETA’s lawsuit sought a court order allowing it to administer all proceeds from the photos taken in wildlife reserve in Sulawesi, Indonesia.

As part of the settlement, Slater agreed to donate 25 percent of future revenue from the monkey selfies to charities dedicated to protecting Naruto’s habitat.

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Both PETA and Slater issued a joint statement following the settlement. “PETA and David Slater agree that this case raises important, cutting-edge issues about expanding legal rights for non-human animals, a goal that they both support, and they will continue their respective work to achieve this goal. As we learn more about Naruto, his community of macaques, and all other animals, we must recognize appropriate fundamental legal rights for them as our fellow global occupants and members of their own nations who want only to live their lives and be with their families. ”

Last year, a federal judge ruled against PETA’s suit, saying the monkey lacked the right to sue because there was no indication that Congress intended to extend copyright protection to animals.

PETA had appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The animal rights group dropped its appeal as part of the settlement.

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Comments (26)
  1. “Your Honor, I hired Naruto, and the price of one banana per day, to take a series of photographs as a part of a study I was conducting concerning the possibility of primates to operate complicated equipment. As a result, all of the photographs created by Naruto are ‘works for hire’, thus legally belong to me. Oh…he ate the contract, but his cousin witnessed it. Sorry Peta…suck my balls.”

  2. David Alster says:

    PETA the ANTIFA of animal rights.

  3. So, like feminism and women, monkeys will have equality without personal accountability. Women have the girl card and monkeys their monkey card. Ancient female privileges with eekwalitee and animal freedom from accountability with inter-species eekwalitee. Great! Thanks feminist, trannies and the rest of you crazies.

    Next, universities will admit monkeys and they can attend and major in monkey studies right next door to ‘women’s studies’.

    1. Hopefully monkeys can accept the result of an election, unlike Democrats and left

  4. Haynes Den says:

    PETA Needs to be banned from filing lawsuits. Counter sue for damages and legal fees.

  5. The day Naruto can take the stand & testify for himself, is the day I consider giving him property rights to the photo.

  6. I guess now Obama has all rights to his selfies

    1. No, the precedent set here applies only to intelligent and minimally sentient beings.

      B. Hussein won’t clear that bar.

  7. The judge adjourned court to eat parasites he picked from Naruto’s attorney’s fur.

  8. Doug Oritz says:

    That this has been allowed into a court room in this country has to have China, Russia, Cuba and every other socialist/communist/dictatorship country just laughing their balls off. It is just absurd and so stupid to watch these judges actually treating this like a serious matter. You liberals have lost your minds. You should all locked up for embarrassing the country.

  9. Bill Frood says:

    PETA needs to be treated as a religious cult and acted upon accordingly. They’re a vile pig sick orginization.

  10. Greg Miller says:

    This whole trial brings the level of stupidity to whole new level.

  11. Please don’t let PETA have any animals. In the name of making themselves look like heroes, they kill 80% of them.

  12. This is excellent news. This case launched an international discussion about the rights of animals, something that can no longer be dismissed. And the endangered macaque community will get much-needed funds. I hope to see more of these groundbreaking cases.

  13. Joe Haffner says:

    We have become a banana republic

  14. MH Thomas says:

    Absolutely ridiculous!
    Nothing but a fund-raising effort by PETA.

  15. Roscoe Gore says:

    The next thing is we will have to get the animals to sign a release form so we can take there photos in the wild. I am for treating animals in a humane way but PETA is nuts.

  16. Steve Hollar says:

    The lunatics are truly taking over.

  17. Tony Konte says:

    I would make certain not another dime in profit selfie now free equals zero donation.

  18. Kim Marie says:

    What’s important about this case is that it helped society shift its limited perception of non-human animals as beings who are owned to beings who can own. That’s a big step in the right direction.

  19. Paula Renee says:

    This is a win-win. As our understanding of animals evolves, so too should our laws, and PETA will keep pushing the envelope to make this happen. And groups working to protect Naruto and other crested black macaques will benefit.