Monkey Can’t Sue for Copyright Infringement of Selfies, 9th Circuit Rules

A crested macaque living in an Indonesian reserve purportedly took several photos of itself in 2011 when wildlife photographer David Slater left his camera unattended. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A crested macaque living in an Indonesian reserve purportedly took several photos of itself in 2011 when wildlife photographer David Slater left his camera unattended. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A federal appeals court decided unanimously Monday that animals may not sue for copyright protection.

The ruling came in the case of a monkey that took selfies with a wildlife photographer’s camera. The photographer later published the photos.

An animal rights group sued, charging the monkey owned the copyright because it took the pictures.

“We must determine whether a monkey may sue humans, corporations, and companies for damages and injunctive relief arising from claims of copyright infringement,” Judge Carlos Bea, appointed by President George W. Bush, wrote for a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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