"Monkey Selfie" Lawsuit Comes to a Close

April 24, 2018

The Ninth Circuit yesterday said Naruto the monkey cannot sue a photographer for copyright infringement, bringing the years long “monkey selfie” case to a close.

The case began when photographer David Slater published a “selfie” that Naruto took of himself. PETA later filed suit, saying it was the monkey, not the photographer, that owned the copyright and should be the one to receive any financial benefits. The Ninth Circuit yesterday disagreed, saying that animals do not have standing unless the law plainly states it. 

The “monkey selfie” lawsuit was named the “Most Ridiculous Lawsuit of 2015” by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s Faces of Lawsuit Abuse campaign after a series of online polls throughout the year. The case again made the list at number four in 2016. It is the only lawsuit to make the list twice.