(SAN FRANCISCO) – A US Appeals Tribunal on Monday favored humans over animals in a novel copyright lawsuit filed over a series of entertaining selfies taken by a monkey with a big grin
U.S. Copyright law does not allow lawsuits granting animals the right to photographs or other original works, the 9th US Court of Appeals found
A copyright infringement can only be claimed on behalf of human beings, the court said
. The unanimous panel of three judges confirmed a lower court ruling rejecting the people's complaint for the ethical treatment of animals against a photographer whose camera was photographed by a crested macaque in 2011.
PETA's 2015 Action Against Animal Photographer David Slater sought financial control of the photographs ̵
Jeff Kerr, the legal advisor to PETA, said the group is reviewing the opinion and has not yet decided whether it would appeal.
"Naruto should be considered as the author and copyright owner, and he should not be treated any differently than any other creator, simply because" He happens not to be human, "Kerr said.
However, the problem for Naruto was that Copyright did not specifically authorize the animals to file copyright infringement claims, said the 9th Circuit Judge Carlos Bea in the verdict The judge said that the law reserved this power only for humans.
The court ruled that Slater was entitled to attorney's fees and sent them back to the district court to determine the amount.
Slater, who in the UK said the attorney fees were welcome after the event had demanded a tribute both financially and emotionally – at one point he considered, dog walking, or Take tennis lessons to earn money.
"I did not make money with photography, which is" A difficult Branc hey for a start, "said Slater, 53.
He declined to say how much money he made from the monkey selfies, but called the revenue" embarrassingly low. "
The PETA lawsuit is not the first In recent years, activists have tried to extend human rights to animals.
Steven Wise, an attorney for the Nonhuman Rights Project group, has argued before state courts that elephants and chimpanzees should be treated legally as human beings with a right to freedom.
A New York appeals court rejected a case involving two chimpanzees last year and said there was no legal precedent for animals to be considered human, and their cognitive abilities did not mean that they were held legally accountable could. 19659006] In a separate selfie statement, 9th Circuit judge N. Randy Smith described PETA's lawsuit as "reckless," saying that he had not ruled on the merits of the copyright claim, but instead rejected the case for other reasons.
Naruto shot the photos while Slater was on a trip to Sulawesi, Indonesia. Slater later argued that his company, Wildlife Personalities Ltd., had worldwide commercial rights to the photos.
U.S. District Judge William Orrick said in a 2016 ruling, "While Congress and the President can extend the protection of the law to both animals and humans, there is no indication that they have done so in the Copyright Act."
After oral negotiations, Slater and PETA announced an agreement in September, in which Slater agreed to donate 25 percent of all future proceeds from the images to charities dedicated to the protection of macaques in Indonesia , Lawyers then called 9th Circuit to dismiss the case and reject Orrick's decision
But the appellate court dismissed this and said a ruling in this "developmental area of the law" would help lower courts and substantial public ones Resources
Kerr said on Monday that the decision of the 9th Circum would not affect the settlement.