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'Monkey Selfie' Lawsuit Ends In Settlement

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The legal fight over the rights of the "monkey selfie" has finally reached a settlement.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and photographer David Slater have reached a settlement in a dispute over who owns the rights to a selfie of the monkey selfie

In 2011, Naruto, a 7-year old male crested black macaque, had snapped a selfie using a camera belonging to wildlife photographer David Slater.

In 2015, PETA filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court in San Francisco against the Slater, the owner of the camera, and his company, Wildlife Personalities Ltd., which both claim copyright ownership of the photos that Naruto indisputably took.

In the lawsuit, PETA sought to have Naruto declared the "author" and owner of his photograph. The agency claimed that U.S. copyright law doesn't prohibit an animal from owning a copyright, and since Naruto took the photo, he owns the copyright.

Under the settlement agreement, Slater will donate 25% of any future revenue derived from using or selling the monkey selfie to charities that protect the crested macaques' habitat in Indonesia.

"PETA and David Slater agree that this case raises important, cutting-edge issues about expanding legal rights for nonhuman animals, a goal that they both support, and they will continue their respective work to achieve this goal," the two parties said.

Both sides also asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals "to dismiss the case and throw out a lower court decision that said animals cannot own copyrights."

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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