A US court has ruled on appeal that Naruto, a macaque who made a selfie in Indonesia with a camera from a photographer in 2011, can not lodge a case against the photographer on the grounds of copyright because the monkey is not a person
Even though Naruto showed in the Indonesian jungle that he is an accomplished self-maker, does not make him a photographer according to the federal court in San Francisco. And so the macaque can not claim copyright. With this, the court confirmed a previous judgment from 2016.
It is a situation from 2011, when the British nature photographer David Slater traveled to an Indonesian nature reserve in the tropical rainforest on the island of Sulawesi. Naruto, a crested macaque, picked up the camera from a Brit which was placed on a tripod and created a priceless selfie at the touch of a button
Slater could not enjoy it in financial terms, because the animal rights organization PETA ] Filed a lawsuit against Slater on behalf of the monkey, thinking that Naruto had the copyright on the photo. The claim of PETA was rejected, but because the animal rights organization wanted to continue litigation, both parties reached a settlement : Slater had to donate 25 percent of all future income from the selfies of Naruto to charity organizations that protect the habitat of the macaque
The judge made a remark in his judgment about this settlement, because the monkey ultimately did not yield anything, as Ars Technica remarked on . The judge said: “It remains unclear which claims PETA has finally ‘suitable’, because the court assumed that this lawsuit was about the requirements of Naruto, but that PETA indicated that Naruto is not a party to the settlement and that its requirements are also not suitable. ” Despite the settlement, the court case was still appealed because the judge considered a ruling to be important on this ‘developing jurisdiction’, according to Time .
However, it is not the case that Slater own the photos. According to the American copyright office, Naruto made the photos and Slater is not the owner. This means that there is no copyright in the photos at all.