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Naruto, the 'monkey' gets another chance to take his selfie

Back in 2011, photographer David J Slater left his camera in an Indonesian forest, which gave a then six-year-old monkey named Naruto a chance to take several photos of himself that was followed with an unprecedented copyright lawsuit -- at claiming ownership over his image.


Naruto, the 'monkey' gets another chance to take his selfie

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Back in 2011, photographer David J Slater left his camera in an Indonesian forest, which gave a then six-year-old monkey named Naruto a chance to take several photos of himself that was followed with an unprecedented copyright lawsuit -- at claiming ownership over his image.

Now, The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) animal rights organisation has filed an appeal to the US Court of Appeals for justice to Naruto.

Slater and his company, which both claim copyright ownership, published the photos that Naruto indisputably took.

PETA sued, claiming that Naruto was the author of the photos and that Slater had infringed on Naruto's copyright.

Disappointingly, in January, a federal judge dismissed the monkey selfie suit, finding that a non-human animal could not own a copyright.

"In every practical (and definitional) sense, he [Naruto] is the ‘author' of the works," argued PETA in the appeal brief filed on Tuesday.

"Had the Monkey Selfies been made by a human using Slater's unattended camera, that human would undisputedly be declared the author and copyright owner of the photographs. Nothing in the Copyright Act limits its application to human authors. Â… [P]rotection under the Copyright Act does not depend on the humanity of the author, but on the originality of the work itself," the appeal read.

According to PETA, if the lawsuit succeeds, it will be the first time that a nonhuman animal has been declared the owner of property rather than a piece of property himself or herself.

It will also be the first time that a right has been extended to a nonhuman animal beyond just the basic necessities of food, shelter, water, and veterinary care. In our view, it is high time.

(With IANS inputs)

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