Appeals Court Rules Monkey Can’t Own Copyright to Selfie It Took

Macca monkey selfie (Wikipedia / Public domain)
Wikipedia / Public domain

An appeals court has ruled that an Indonesian monkey cannot own the copyright to a selfie it took.

According to Engadget, the appeals court “affirmed the lower court’s decision that Naruto, the seven-year-old crested macaque in the selfie, can’t file a copyright claim for the photo,” despite the fact that it took the photo in 2011 “using a camera owned by photographer David Slater when he visited Tangkoko reserve on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia.”

Judge N. Randy Smith declared, “[W]e conclude that this monkey — and all animals, since they are not human — lacks statutory standing under the Copyright Act.”

PETA had filed a lawsuit on behalf of Naruto against Slater over the copyright, arguing the photo and its revenue belonged to the monkey, however, Judge Smith decided that PETA’s “real motivation in this case was to advance its own interests, not Naruto’s.”

Last year, Slater claimed he had become broke over the lawsuit.

The Guardian reported that Slater “could not afford the air fare to San Francisco” to attend a hearing. “Nor can he afford to replace his broken camera equipment, or pay the attorney who has been defending him.”

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington, or like his page at Facebook.