Humans and macaques share about 93% of their DNA, so it was only a matter of time before our monkey friends started taking selfies. However, a court ruling has decided that while they can take photos, they can’t own them.
The decision stems from the case of a macaque known as Naruto, who back in 2011 took some shots of himself using a camera that was left set up by British nature photographer David Slater.
PETA filed a lawsuit to defend the primates copyright, with the aim of administering the proceeds from the photos to benefit Naruto and other crested macaques.
Wikipedia and other outlets also support the animal’s rights, or rather argue that no one owns the copyright to the images.
Sadly, a federal judge has ruled that the monkey can’t be the copyright holder of the photos.
Any future animal selfies are unlikely to even make it to court, at least in the US, as the US copyright office has since updated its policies to clarify that it would only register copyright for works made by human beings.
It’s a sad day for animals everywhere, but we doubt Naruto cares.