Is a monkey an artist if it presses the camera’s shutter? That’s the fundamental question at the heart of a lawsuit recently filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on behalf of Naruto, pictured below. It claims that yes, it is, and yes, Naruto deserves to own the copyright under U.S. law.
David Slater was the photographer who visited a forest preserve in Papua New Guinea, home of curious macaques and other dexterous mammals. After he left his camera on a tripod, several monkeys started snapping “selfies”—the publication of which has since brought Slater royalties. According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court of Northern California, PETA maintains the plaintiff, Naruto, deserves the credit and with it any proceeds, which could be used to protect its rapidly shrinking habitat. —Diane Richard, writer, September 30
Photo credit: Naruto, Macaque selfie
Source: Justin Wm. Moyer, Monkey wants copyright and cash from ‘monkey selfies,’ PETA lawsuit says,” The Washington Post, September 23, 2015