A monkey didn’t actually tell PETA to sue photographer David Slater for the copyright of his selfie photos but PETA seems to think the monkey wants the copyright.
The suit was filed in federal court in San Francisco – where else – by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA would disperse all proceeds for the benefit of monkeys.
The monkey in question is 6-year old Naruto who lives in an Indonesian preserve.
Mr. Slater, a British nature photographer, took the pictures in 2011 and has published a book called “Wildlife Personalities” which includes the “monkey selfie” photos.
The photos are being distributed widely without copyright with the claim that they were monkey selfies and Mr. Slater doesn’t own them.
Last year, the U.S. Copyright Office issued an updated compendium of its policies, including a section stipulating that it would register copyrights only for works produced by human beings. It specified that works produced by animals, whether a photo taken by a monkey or a mural painted by an elephant, would not qualify.
Jeffrey Kerr, a lawyer with PETA, said U.S. Copyright Act itself does not contain language limiting copyrights to humans.
PETA said the monkey took the photos himself and is the owner.
Mr. Slater said that he is the intellect behind the photos, not the monkeys. We don’t know what evidence he has presented.
PETA is known for their crazy lawsuits and their bizarre publicity stunts. They hope that some day a judge will rule animals have the same rights as people.
They sued SeaWorld in 2011 claiming that their killer whales are captives and it violates the U.S. Constitution’s ban on slavery.
In 2013, PETA attempted to bully the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department for teaching children to fish because multiple scientific studies have concluded that fish feel pain acutely. Fish suffer while being held out of water just as humans would if drowning, they claimed.
PETA London wanted the oldest pub in Britain to change its name from Ye Olde Fighting Cocks because it does not “reflect compassion for animals.”
This is all well and good but who is speaking up for vegetables?!? Does no one care about the brussel sprout or the string bean?