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‘Monkey Selfie’ Copyright Battle: Settlement Reached

selfie-2700351_640The two year legal battle over the infamous ‘monkey selfie’ between a photographer and an animal rights group has finally reached its conclusion. Last month, a settlement was reached between the two parties, bringing this copyright drama to a quiet end.

By way of background, in 2011 a macaque monkey, named Naruto, took an image of itself in the Indonesian jungle after it picked up an unattended camera owned by photographer, David Slater. Disputes arose over ownership of the image when it was published on Wikipedia, without Mr Slater’s permission, and he asked for it to be taken down. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) defended Naruto, arguing that he owned the copyright in the image.

However, Mr Slater contended that he had a valid copyright claim based on the fact that he engineered the situation that resulted in the picture. He befriended the group of wild macaques and set up his camera equipment in such a way that a “selfie” picture might come about. (more…)