Is The ‘Monkey Vs Photographer’ Copyright Tale Finally Over?

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

One of the conceptions taken by the monkey with David Slater's kit. Image © Wildlife Personalities/David Slater


We did ruminate over that the 'monkey vs photographer' copyright case was over back in 2017, but the grinning monkey has made headlines again this week after a US supplications court ruled that US copyright law doesn't allow copyright lawsuits for animals. 

"Copyright infringement can only be titled on behalf of humans," AP reports. 

A lower court has previously dismissed the lawsuit by PETA, who were attempting to claim copyright of a laughing-stock selfie for the animal, and the panel at the US appeals court upheld the ruling. 

According to AP, during the ruling, the 9th Circuit Judge Carlos Bea said copyright law does not 'positively authorise animals to file copyright is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and infringement suits' and that the law is reserved for humans only. 

The court also ruled that David Slater, the photographer whose camera was acclimated to by the monkey to capture his famous selfie, could claim attorneys’ fees in the case and as a result, it has now been sent back to the region court. It's a welcomed decision for David who has said, in the past, that he came close to quitting photographer altogether due to mounting legal charges.

The new ruling doesn't impact on the settlement, first mentioned last September, where Mr Slater agreed to give 25% of all the nobles raised from the images the macaque took to animal charities. 

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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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