I am so glad that I am able to follow up on this controversy. A while back I blogged about PETA suing in an effort to transfer the copyright of picture of macaque monkey, named Naruto, to the monkey himself. The story goes back a ways.
The picture was actually taken by Naruto the monkey in 2011 when nature photographer David Slater left his camera unattended. All Naruto had to do was push the button and flash his pearly whites. After the photo was posted online by Wikimedia, Slater requested it be removed because he claimed that photo legally his. Wikimedia refused arguing that Naruto the monkey snapped the picture, even though it was on Slater’s camera, and was therefore in the public domain as animals cannot own media. Since then, the legal debate on who owns the selfie has persisted.
In 2015 PETA went bananas and filed a lawsuit that would transfer ownership rights to Naruto himself. When Naruto the monkey was reached for comment, all he had to say on the matter was “ook.”
Unfortunately for Naruto, a San Francisco judge decided on Wednesday that a he could not own the rights to the photo as he is indeed a monkey. Naruto was reportedly seen after the court proceedings eating a banana and climbing trees.
Read more from the HuffPost here!