Thanks To PETA, The Monkey Selfie Controversy Will Never End 

Thanks to PETA, the Monkey Selfie Controversy Will Never End

PETA, the same organisation that launched a bogus porn site and hates humans, is getting embroiled in one of the most click-baiting copyright battles of the century: The case of the monkey selfie.

You know the story already. Back in 2011, British photographer and nature lover David Slater found himself in a legal battle with Wikimedia over a funny picture of a monkey named Naruto. The image is funny because look at that goofy macaque's mug but also because it is a selfie. Like an idiot, Slater left his camera unattended in an an Indonesian rain forest, and the monkey figured out how to press the shutter button. Wikimedia hosted the image and argued that it could not be copyrighted because it was taken by a monkey. Slater challenged the organisation in court, lost terribly, and wasted some $US17,000 on legal fees. All for a monkey selfie.

Now that everyone's forgotten about the viral news story, PETA is ready for attention now. The same organisation that made headlines for fat-shaming dead people is seeking a court order to take over the financial affairs of the selfie monkey, while arguing that Naruto is rightful owner of the copyright on the photos. The case specifically wants to take the proceeds from Slater's self-published book, Wildlife Personalities, and give them money to Naruto and his friends.

We've been through this before, guys. Monkeys are not humans, and according to the United States Copyright Office, only humans can register copyrights for intellectual property. A PETA lawyer told The Associated Press that the Copyright Office's policy is "is only an opinion." Kerr added:

The act grants copyright to authors of original works, with no limit on species. Copyright law is clear: it's not the person who owns the camera, it's the being who took the photograph.

That's just ludicrous. Now if it were some type of ape that took the photos — especially a chimpanzee — PETA might have more of a case. But the U.S. Copyright Office has clearly addressed this issue. Moreover, PETA is clearly pursuing a ridiculous claim in order to win attention and cause a spectacle. PETA does this all the time.

It just feels like this selfie monkey spin cycle will never end. Maybe the monkey should get some money from the proceeds of the book. (Actually, the monkey already does because the nature-loving photographer that published the damn donates a portion of every sale to conservation efforts.) Maybe PETA needs to pick on somebody its own size, someone that's actually hurting animals. Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe said it best in an interview:

[The litigation] trivialises the terrible problems of needless animal slaughter and avoidable animal exploitation worldwide for lawyers to focus so much energy and ingenuity on whether monkeys own the copyright in selfies taken under these contrived circumstances.

Nah, PETA's probably going to keep pursing this case. PETA's just going to continue trolling the entire human race, because that's what PETA does. Long live PETA. Long live Naruto the selfie monkey. Long live spectacle.

Peta Monkey Selfie by Kevin Collier

[Associated Press]


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Comments

    Geeze, sounds like no one's even considered what the monkey thinks of the situation! Has anyone thought that maybe he doesn't want to exercise his intellectual property rights, even if he has them?

    seeking a court order to take over the financial affairs of the selfie monkey, while arguing that Naruto is rightful owner of the copyright on the photos.

    Let's say that Naruto is the rightful owner of the photos. Surely it is up to Naruto to appoint somebody to manage his financial affairs and not PETA to appoint itself? That would be like me suing to take over the financial affairs of somebody that I have never met.

    The case specifically wants to take the proceeds from Slater’s self-published book, Wildlife Personalities, and give them money to Naruto and his friends.

    Again, how do you know that is the wishes of the copyright holder? Maybe Naruto doesn't want to give the money to his friends. Maybe Naruto wants to spend the royalties on monkey strippers and cocaine?

    Doesn't the case boil down to PETA proving that they have a right to be appointed the financial controller for Naruto? Seems like a pretty basic failure of law being able to prove to the judge that you are actually appointed by the client.

    The real problem is that PETA sets animal rights back. They're like ISIL to muslims, the Westbro Baptits to Christians etc, neckbeard fedora wearing MRAs to atheism.

    It is a monkey, an animal - it has no rights to ownership as it is an animal!
    omg......this is like tumblr

    stupid PETA....stunts all the time

    PETA is clearly pursuing a ridiculous claim in order to win attention and cause a spectacle. PETA does this all the time.
    Yes, and it seems to have worked yet again, this time on Gizmodo.

    Forget about some foreign monkey, what about Australian animals. What about all those poor Koalas in tourist pictures, pretty sure they didnt give their signed consent to be photographed and being drunk on eucalyptus means they mitigating circumstances if they did... not to mention that Kangaroos, Wallabies and Quokkas. Why wont someone think about the poor little Quokkas, they have rights too, they even allowed to go into the store on Rotnest island... thats profiling right there.

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