'Monkey selfie' legal battle settles out of court

PETA had been suing the photographer on behalf of a monkey named Naruto

'Monkey selfie' legal battle settles out of court

File photo of a group of Crested Macaques. Picture by: Niall Carson/PA Archive/PA Images

A lawsuit over the copyright ownership of a selfie taken by a monkey has been settled out of court.

The monkey snapped the photo with wildlife photographer David Slater's camera in Sulawesi, Indonesia back in 2011.

The photograph sparked a debate about animals & copyright, with the Wikimedia Foundation claiming the image was public domain as it was not taken by a human. 

The photographer objected to publications using the image without his permission.

Animal rights group PETA, meanwhile, decided to sue Mr Slater on behalf of a crested macaque monkey named Naruto.

Mr Slater enjoyed a legal victory last year when a judge ruled that an animal cannot own his photo copyright - but the case had been continuing through the US courts system.

However, the photographer has now agreed to donate 25% of future revenue to charities dedicated to protecting the species.

In a joint-statement, the two parties to the dispute said: “PETA and David Slater agree that this case raises important, cutting-edge issues about expanding legal rights for nonhuman animals, a goal that they both support.

"They will continue their respective work to achieve this goal.”

PETA added that it will continue working "to establish legal rights for animals".

Mr Slater had previously disputed PETA's identification of the monkey, telling The Guardian: "I know for a fact that [the monkey in the photograph] is a female and it’s the wrong age.

"I’m bewildered at the American court system. Surely it matters that the right monkey is suing me."