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US appeals court rejects lawsuit over monkey selfies

Sudhin Thanawala
Associated Press

San Francisco – A U.S. appeals court has ruled in a case over selfies taken by a monkey that lawsuits can’t be filed claiming animals have copyrights to photos.

The decision Monday by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling in favor David Slater, the photographer whose camera was used to take the photos. The appeals court said U.S. copyright law confers the right to sue on humans.

The monkey, a crested macaque named Naruto, snapped the photos in 2011 with an unattended camera.

Slater was on a trip to Sulawesi, Indonesia, and argued that his company, Wildlife Personalities Ltd., owned worldwide commercial rights to the photos.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sought financial control of the photos to benefit the monkey.