A curious monkey with a toothy grin and a knack for pressing a camera button was back in the spotlight Wednesday as a federal appeals court heard arguments on whether an animal can hold a copyright to selfie photos.
A 45-minute hearing before a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco attracted crowds of law students and curious citizens who often burst into laughter. The federal judges also chuckled at times at the novelty of the case, which involves a monkey in another country that is unaware of the fuss.
An Indonesian macaque named Naruto allegedly grabbed a photographer's camera and snapped a self-portrait in 2011. (Wikimedia)
Naruto is a free-living crested macaque who snapped perfectly framed selfies in 2011 that would make even the Kardashians proud.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sued Slater and the San Francisco-based self-publishing company Blurb, which published a book called "Wildlife Personalities" that includes the monkey selfies, for copyright infringement. It sought a court order in 2015 allowing it to administer all proceeds from the photos taken in a wildlife reserve in Sulawesi, Indonesia to benefit the monkey.
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