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The Daily Record's law news blog

When it comes to this picture, I’ve got no selfie control

This 2011 photo provided by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) shows a selfie taken by a macaque monkey on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi with a camera that was positioned by British nature photographer David Slater. The photo is part of a court exhibit in a lawsuit filed by PETA in San Francisco on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, which says that the monkey, and not Slater, should be declared the copyright owner of the photos. Slater has argued that, as the “intellect behind the photos,” he is the copyright owner since he set up the camera so that such a photo could be produced if a monkey approached it a pressed the button. (David Slater/Court exhibit provided by PETA via AP)

Naturo (David Slater/Court exhibit provided by PETA via AP)

Am I aware this — the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals finding a monkey who took the fantastic photo you see here has no copyright claims on it — happened two days ago and is, therefore, old news? Yes.

Did the unanimous three-judge panel “conclude that this monkey — and all animals, since they are not human — lacks statutory standing under the Copyright Act”? It did.

Will People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals appeal the decision on behalf of Naturo, the crested macaque? The organization is mulling its options.

Did PETA’s general counsel really respond to the verdict with this statement: “The court reaffirmed that nonhuman animals have the constitutional right to bring a case to federal court when they’ve been wronged, but the opinion still missed the point, which was that Naruto the macaque undeniably took the photos, and denying him the right to sue under the U.S. Copyright Act emphasizes what PETA has argued all along — that he is discriminated against simply because he’s a nonhuman animal?” He really did.

Have you probably read or heard several stories since Monday about the monkey selfie that include some clever primate wordplay since Monday? Probably. (My personal favorite: Monkey ©. Monkey don’t.)

Could I pass up an opportunity, even a belated one, to once again type the phrase “Monkey Selfie” and use the photo again? Monkey Selfie.

Monkey Selfie.

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