Monkey Selfies and How they Could Have Changed Everything

By: Ryan Wells, Reporter

If  you have been on the internet lately, you’ve probably seen this image –>

BUT, If you want to know the full story of these amazing monkey selfies, read on!

Photographer David Slater, while on a trip to Indonesia, was taking pictures of a rare species of monkey called the Crested Macaque. Slater left the cameras out in such a way that a monkey could take a selfie. 3 monkeys ended up taking individual selfies.

PETA, a wildlife rights group filed multiple lawsuits against Slater because they thought since the monkey had taken the photo, the monkey therefore owned copyrights for the photo. Slater argued that he had set up the cameras so that it could happen, and a monkey having copyrights would be ridiculous. PETA requested that all the funds from anything related to the selfies should be given the PETA in order to benefit the monkey. The Court ruled that “works created by a non human are not copyrightable,” and therefore belong to the public domain. In a separate Lawsuit, The court ruled that Monkeys cannot own copyright. PETA appealed that ruling and the Court of Appeals agreed with the previous court that animals cannot own copyright. The Court of Appeals was bothered by the fact that PETA’s motivation was for money, not animal rights.

How it could have affected the world: If the court had ruled against Slater, there would be a precedent for animals to have human rights. As stated in the video above, If a couple was getting divorced, would the dog have to choose which parent to stay with? This would bring up many unnecessary complications in the law and it is better that they ruled against PETA.