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PETA withdrew the claim against the photographer about the copyrights of the monkey at the Selfie

Monkey Naruto. Photos of David Slater

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has withdrawn theclaim against photographer David Slater (David Slater) because of the “Selfie monkey”. The proceedings lasted two years.

PETA and Slater signed an agreement, under which he agreed to pay 25% of the fee from the sale of photographs to protect the habitat of monkeys. Naruto’s photos are in the public domain.

In a joint statement, PETA and Slater said that the matter concerns the extension of animal rights.

The progressive case of PETA and Slater evoked an international debate about the need to give animals fundamental rights for their own good, and not for them to be exploited by man.

Jeff Kerr
lawyer PETA

A photo of the monkey was made in 2011 on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The monkey shot several frames with the help of Slater’s camera: some of them turned out to be unsuitable, but several were successful. The photographer licensed them and subsequently published as “Selfie monkeys.”

In 2014, photographs of Naruto appeared on the Wikimedia Commons. The Wikimedia Foundation, which owns the project, has repeatedly refused to remove them, claiming that the photographer can not have any rights to the pictures. According to the foundation, the Selphi macaque is a public good as a work of art created not by man.

Slater claimed that copyright belongs to him, since he deliberately left the camera so that the monkeys could play with her and “project the photo”, meaning that macaques could press the shutter button.

At the end of 2014, the US Copyright Office announced that works created by animals could not be copyrighted.

Proceedings between PETA and Slater began in September 2015. (PETA) sued Slater on behalf of the monkey, stating in the statement of claim that it was the baboon who was the rightful owner of the copyright in the photograph. Zoo-protectors demanded to send all fees for the use of Naruto’s photos in favor of the monkey and her relatives in the reserve, and also expressed readiness to administer the receipt of funds.

At the same time, PETA filed a lawsuit not from that monkey. Slater described Naruto as a female macaques, and the organization indicated the plaintiff of a male crested baboon.

In January 2016, District Judge William Orrick, in reviewing the case, came to the conclusion that Naruto had no right to sue, and on that basis terminated the proceedings. The question is, can a monkey have copyright to the photo she created, was left unanswered.

On July 12, 2017, the San Francisco Court of Appeal began hearing the merits of the complaint. At the meeting it was discussed whether PETA had enough close relations with Naruto to represent him in court, what value for the baboon will be given to the monkeys written notice of copyright and what real damage the monkey will receive if it is not recognized as a subject of copyright. One of the judges noted that Naruto does not actually have the ability to receive and save money, and the monkey will not be able to suffer reputational losses.

Slater himself stated that the story attracted a resonance to the crested baboons and helped to keep the species from extinction.

Updated at 15:24: The previous version of the note said that David Slater won the court against the organization “People for Ethical Treatment of Animals” (PETA) because of the “Selfie monkey” and received copyrights for a photo of baboon Naruto. This is not so, the lawsuit was withdrawn.

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