Lawyers for an Indonesian monkey are furious at a federal judge’s ruling to dismiss his case of copyright infringement for his selfie photographs. The monkey’s lawyers plan to appeal.
More disturbing for the monkey is the fact the lawsuit was filed in the Democratic People’s Socialist Republic of San Francisco, a location where he actually had a chance at winning.
You may think that I’m kidding, but this is a true story.
The 7-year-old monkey, Naruto lives with other macaques in a rainforest reserve on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. In 2011, he grabbed an unattended camera owned by British wildlife photographer David Slater, and began snapping selfies. In 2014, Slater published the photos in a book called Wildlife Personalities.
In case you’re wondering how the monkey decided to file the lawsuit, remember that the world is full of Liberals. Enter stage Left, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), the group who filed a lawsuit on behalf of Naruto, claiming he owned the rights to the photos.
As reported by CBS News:
“The lawsuit claims that Naruto, who was accustomed to seeing cameras used by tourists and professional photographers, came upon the unattended camera and created the selfies through a series of ‘purposeful and voluntary actions…unaided by Slater.’
Naruto’s actions as an author included ‘purposely pushing the shutter release multiple times (and) understanding the cause-and-effect relationship between pressing the shutter release, the noise of the shutter, and the change to his reflection in the camera lens,’ the lawsuit says.”
Even the software company that Slater used to develop the photos is being dragged into the mess, as the San Francisco-based company Blurb is a co-defendant, along with Slater’s company Wildlife Personalities, Ltd.
Though the case has been dismissed, this farce is not over, as U.S. District Judge William Orrick said he will allow PETA to file an amended lawsuit. PETA has stated they will study the ruling and submit a revised lawsuit.
I’m an animal lover and always have been, but I am also irritated at a system that allows lawsuits to be filed on behalf of animals for personal financial gain or notoriety. PETA should stick to the ethical treatment of animals instead of exploiting them. This monkey was happy, but now he has become a gold digger. Who will handle the finances for this monkey, should he eventually win this lawsuit?
Not to mention, the monkey STOLE the camera to begin with. Whatever photos are on there belong to the photographer, even if the monkey was nude at the time.
This case has far-reaching aspects, as should Naruto win this lawsuit what other animals could file lawsuits? The can of worms PETA has opened up, well it could have worms suing for me using the phrase “can of worms!”
Whatever the case, I believe that somewhere in Indonesia a monkey and his buddies are having a good laugh at the expense of human beings.
Follow James on Twitter @NY_2_Carolina