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.
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.
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.