The Popcorn Stand: Court doesn’t monkey around
This federal appeals court didn’t monkey around, but I still want to express say it ain’t so, court, say it ain’t so.
Even though this case had already been settled, the 9th Circuit Court decided unanimously on Monday animals don’t have the right to sue for copyright protection. This has been an ongoing case that’s made it into this Popcorn Stand involving a monkey that took selfies with a wildlife photographer’s camera and the photographer later published the photos.
Naruto, a 7-year-old macaque living in a reserve in Indonesia, was the plantiff in the suit. The monkey took several photos of himself when the photographer, David Slater, left his camera unattended.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, I guess you could say, represented Naruto and sued Slater on behalf of Naruto, claiming the copyright for the photos belonged to Naruto. PETA and Slater settled the case out of court but the 9th Circuit Court decided to rule anyway because you never know when another monkey is going to take a picture of itself.
Alas the three-judge panel ruled “this monkey — and all animals, since they are not human — lacks statutory standing under the Copyright Act.”
The panel went as far as to say the suit was “frivolous.” The panel also stated it’s not feasible for an animal to sue because “who stands in their shoes?” although I wouldn’t want to stand in a monkey’s shoes.
No word if somebody from PETA reacted to the ruling by saying, “Well, I’ll be an monkey’s uncle.”
— Charles Whisnand