People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [PETA] has come to a settlement in the battle over who owns the copyright to a famous selfie taken by a macaque.
PETA, photographer David Slater, his company, Wildlife Personalities, Ltd., and self-publishing platform Blurb Inc. have finally reached a settlement of litigation.
PETA asked the court to dismiss the case, if Slater would agree to pay 25 percent of any income generated by the picture to charities that protect crested macaques in Indonesia.
The picture was taken when Naruto, a rare crested macaque monkey, picked up wildife photographer David Slater’s camera and took a snap.
The photographer has revealed that he deliberately made the camera accessible to the macaque monkeys, spending three days with them in 2008 in order to gain their trust.
PETA represented Naruto in the case – in a bid to highlight (in PETA’s words): “The need to extend fundamental rights to animals for their own sake—not in relation to the ways in which they can be exploited by humans.”
Slater and PETA said in a joint statement: “PETA and David Slater agree that this case raises important, cutting-edge issues about expanding legal rights for non-human animals, a goal that they both support, and they will continue their respective work to achieve this goal.”
U.S. District Attorney Judge William Orrick stated: “While Congress and the President can extend the protection of law to animals as well as humans, there is no indication that they did so in the Copyright Act.”
Slater’s lawyer refused to comment on how much money the photo has generated.
It is also unclear whether he will keep the remaining 75 percent of future income.