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A Selfie by a monkey in Indonesia in 2011 using a Wild Life Photographers Camera

Yesterday we blogged about client selection and how client selection helps prevent Attorney Malpractice Claims.  Today we have a Monkey attempting to file a copyright infringement suit against a photographer.  PETA decided that it was time to help an Indonesia Macau Monkey named Naruto protect his rights to the “Monkey Selfies” that he took in 2011.

In 2011 Naruto got ahold of photographer Slater’s camera and took a number of “Selfies”.  PETA brought suit against Slater as a guardian or “next friend” of Naruto.  PETA stated that “Naruto was the author and owner of the photographs and suffered concrete and particularized economic harms.”

The 9th Circuit weighed in on this in Naruto v Salter.  It stated that “the monkey lacked statutory standing because the Copyright Act does not expressly authorize animals to file copyright infringement suits. “

The court also weighed in on PETA’s “next friend status:

“We gravely doubt that PETA can validly assert “next friend” status to represent claims made for the monkey both (1) because PETA has failed to allege any facts to establish the required significant relationship between a next friend and a real party in interest and (2) because an animal cannot be represented, under our laws, by a “next friend.””

The court granted the request for Attorney’s fees be awarded to Slater and sent the determination of the amount of attorney’s fees back to the district court.

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