Appeals court upholds ruling that animals cannot sue over copyright in 'monkey selfie' case

Appeals court upholds ruling that animals cannot sue over copyright in 'monkey selfie' case
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A federal appeals court on Monday ruled that animals do not have the right to sue in copyright cases, upholding a lower court’s ruling in the so-called monkey selfie case.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling in favor of David Slater, a photographer who was sued over photographs that a macaque took using his camera.

When the photos, taken in 2011 in Indonesia, went viral, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sued Slater on behalf of Naruto, the monkey, arguing that the animal should own the rights to the photographs.

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A district judge ruled in 2016 that the protection of the Copyright Act does not apply to animals, which PETA then appealed.

Slater and PETA reached a compromise last year in which Slater agreed to donate 25 percent of the proceeds from the images to macaque-protection charities.

PETA and Slater asked the 9th Circuit to dismiss the case, but the court refused, saying considerable public resources had already been expended in the case, and that a ruling would help guide lower courts.