Culture

PETA Sues on Behalf of a Monkey for Rights to His Selfies

"Just like any other author of an original work."

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a monkey claiming that the monkey owns the rights to selfies it took.

Yep.

The selfies in question were taken way back in 2011, when a monkey named “Naruto” grabbed photographer David Slater’s camera and snapped them. No matter how much time has passed, however, PETA apparently considers it just way too big of a deal to let go.

Right now, no one owns the photos. Slater has insisted that he holds the rights to the images. However, Wikimedia, which has made them available for publishing for free, maintains that no one owns them since a monkey took them and monkeys are not covered under copyright law — which is exactly what PETA has a problem with.

“If we prevail in this lawsuit, it will be the first time that a nonhuman animal is declared the owner of property, rather than being declared a piece of property himself or herself,” PETA general counsel Jeffrey Kerr said in a statement.

Kerr told CNET that PETA has no selfish intentions in filing this lawsuit — it’s all about “protecting the intellectual property rights of Naruto . . . just like any other author of an original work.”

#share#PETA is demanding “monetary damages as well as an injunction banning the sale or publication” of the photos, as well as permission “as ‘next friend’ to Naruto . . . to manage the copyright of the photos, license them for commercial use, and use 100 percent of the proceeds for the benefit of Naruto and his community.”

How PETA determined that Naruto considers them friends is unclear.

The lawsuit was filed in a San Francisco federal court on Monday.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review.

Most Popular

Elections

Trouble in the Workers’ Paradise

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is precisely the sort of campaign surrogate you want, especially if you are Bernie Sanders: She is young, energetic, charismatic, popular (with the people she needs to be popular with, anyway), and, happily, currently ineligible to run for the presidency ... Read More
Elections

Trouble in the Workers’ Paradise

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is precisely the sort of campaign surrogate you want, especially if you are Bernie Sanders: She is young, energetic, charismatic, popular (with the people she needs to be popular with, anyway), and, happily, currently ineligible to run for the presidency ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Bill Barr Derangement Syndrome

Can the republic survive Attorney General William Barr? That’s the question that has seized the media and center-left, which have worked themselves into a full-blown panic over an attorney general who is, inarguably, a serious legal figure and one of the adults in the room late in President Trump’s first ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Bill Barr Derangement Syndrome

Can the republic survive Attorney General William Barr? That’s the question that has seized the media and center-left, which have worked themselves into a full-blown panic over an attorney general who is, inarguably, a serious legal figure and one of the adults in the room late in President Trump’s first ... Read More
Elections

RIP Bloomberg 2020

I thought that Bloomberg’s confused half-defense of stop-and-frisk was going to be his low point. Well. His torturous response on his lawsuits and NDAs was truly awful -- beyond incompetent. I wouldn’t be surprised if this were the end of Bloomberg 2020. Read More
Elections

RIP Bloomberg 2020

I thought that Bloomberg’s confused half-defense of stop-and-frisk was going to be his low point. Well. His torturous response on his lawsuits and NDAs was truly awful -- beyond incompetent. I wouldn’t be surprised if this were the end of Bloomberg 2020. Read More
Law & the Courts

The Roger Stone Double Standard

Whether Roger Stone, the loopy, self-aggrandizing political operative, deserves nine years in Supermax for obstructing an investigation into Russia–Donald Trump “collusion” is debatable. Whether the powerful men who helped create the investigation that ensnared Stone have been allowed to lie with impunity ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The Roger Stone Double Standard

Whether Roger Stone, the loopy, self-aggrandizing political operative, deserves nine years in Supermax for obstructing an investigation into Russia–Donald Trump “collusion” is debatable. Whether the powerful men who helped create the investigation that ensnared Stone have been allowed to lie with impunity ... Read More