While deciding the issue that whether a monkey may sue humans, corporations, and companies for damages and injunctive relief arising from claims of copyright infringement, United States Court of Appeals (Ninth Circuit) held that the monkey in particular and all the animals in general, by the virtue of the fact that they are not humans, lack the statutory locus standi under the Copyright Act, even though they have a constitutional standing under Article III of the United States Constitution.
The issue revolves around Naruto, a crested macaque living on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. In 2011, the monkey picked up the camera of wildlife photographer David Slater, and took several photos of himself; the collection which later became popular as “monkey selfies”. The pictures were later published in Slater’s book, which identified Slater and Wildlife (magazine published by Wildlife Personalities, Ltd.) as the copyright owners of the Monkey Selfies. However a copyright infringement case was filed against Slater and Wildlife, by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) as “Next Friends” on behalf of Naruto. PETA claimed that that the monkey was the author and owner of the photographs and had suffered concrete and particularized economic harms.
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