Lawsuit Settled On Whether Or Not Monkeys Can Own Their Selfies

By Ryan Tronier

If a monkey takes a selfie, does it own the copyright to that image?

A nearly two-year legal battle over the answer to that question was settled out of court on Monday, according to CBS.

The case of whether or not an Indonesian crested macaque named Naruto owns the rights to a selfie he unwittingly took after stealing a camera from a photographer named David Slater is finally over with both the plaintiff and defendant settling out of court.

The animal rights organization, PETA, sued Slater on behalf of the monkey in 2015, asking the courts for financial control to benefit Naruto and other Indonesian crested macaques.

The decision: ¯_(ツ)_/¯

The camera's owner agreed to donate 25 percent of future revenue of the images taken by the monkey to charitable organizations that look after the welfare of macaques, like Naruto, who live in the Tangkoko Reserve on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, the New York Times Reports.

Attornies for both PETA and the photographer asked the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss the case and throw out a lower-court decision that ruled animals cannot own copyrights, reports NBC.

"PETA and David Slater agree that this case raises important, cutting-edge issues about expanding legal rights for nonhuman animals, a goal the both support, and they will continue their respective work to achieve this goal," PETA posted to their website.

Ape taking selfie
credit: Bruno_il_segretario/iStock/GettyImages

Now the next legal decision that we here at Cuteness HQ hope the courts can answer — which of these heckin' boxer pups owns the rights to this photo of dogs kissing?

Best friends
credit: KuderM/iStock/GettyImages