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Is The 'Monkey Vs Photographer' Copyright Tale Finally Over?

A court in the USA has said that copyright infringement can only be claimed on behalf of humans.

| Industry News

Is The 'Monkey Vs Photographer' Copyright Tale Finally Over? :

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


We did think 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 appeals court ruled that US copyright law doesn't allow copyright lawsuits for animals. 

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

A lower court has previously dismissed the lawsuit by PETA, who were attempting to claim copyright of a monkey 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 'expressly authorise animals to file copyright infringement suits' and that the law is reserved for humans only. 

The court also ruled that David Slater, the photographer whose camera was used 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 district 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 fees.

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

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JackAllTog Avatar
JackAllTog Plus
14 6.4k 58 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2018 9:15AM
The paper pointed out yesterday that Peta as a significant charity was funding this lawsuit. It questioned why the charity was spending funds in this way and whether doners would be happy paying lawyers for this action.
I'm glad the photographer is able to recover attorney fees in this case.

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