Fight over monkey selfie settled

Wildlife photographer David Slater from Monmouthshire settled a two-year legal fight against an animal rights group. In 2011 the macaque monkey Naruto picked up the photographer´s equipment and took a selfie. The photos were later published by a news agency. But a legal debate regarding the copyright of the photographs was sparked when Wikipedia and other platforms refused to stop posting the pictures without the photographer´s permission.

Slater argued that he put a lot of effort and time into the pictures when he travelled to Indonesia in 2011 and followed a troop of macaque monkeys for three days to gain their trust. The monkeys accepted him but were still nervous when they were approached with a camera. So Slater decided to set up the camera on a tripod and left the remote trigger accessible for the monkeys. When he moved away the macaques touched the camera, pressed buttons and grinned at their reflection in the lenses.

PETA, however, argued the copyright to the picture should be assigned to the macaque Naruto. They sued Slater in 2016 when he self-published his photographs. However, US judges ruled that copyright protection could not be applied to the monkey. Now all sides have agreed to a settlement in which Slater donates a portion of future revenue on the photograph to wildlife organizations. The only consolation for David Slater is that the debate brought attention to the endangered species of the crested black macaque.

Update: Photographer David Slater has won the legal battle over the monkey selfie. A US court ruled that copy right law does not apply to animals. Originally Slater and PETA had come to an agreement to drop the case but the court refused to accept the joint motion. With this a precedent has been established. Furthermore, the court criticised PETA for using monkey Naruto as a pawn to achieve their own goals. 25% of the money the monkey selfie earned will go to Naruto and his community.

to settle (ˈsetl̩) – sich einigen

to publish (ˈpʌblɪʃ) – etw veröffentlichen

regarding (rɪˈgɑ:dɪŋ) – bezüglich

copyright (ˈkɒpirt) – das Urheberrecht

to spark (spɑ:k) – etw entfachen

permission (pəˈmɪʃən) – die Erlaubnis, Genehmigung

troop (tru:p) – die Truppe, Schar

to gain (gn) – etw erlangen, gewinnen

trust (trʌst) – das Vertrauen

to approach (əˈprəʊ) – sich jem nähern

to decide (dɪˈsd) – entscheiden

tripod (ˈtrpɒd) – das Stativ

remote trigger (rɪˈməʊt ˈtrɪgəʳ) – der Fernauslöser

accessible (əkˈsesəb) – erreichbar, griffbereit

to grin (grɪn) – grinsen

to assign (əˈsn) – jdm etw zuweisen, ein Recht abtreten

to sue (su:) – jdn verklagen

to apply (əˈpl) – jdn betreffen, gelten

to agree (əˈgri:) – zustimmen, sch einigen

to donate (də(ʊ)ˈnt) – spenden

revenue (ˈrevənju:) – die Einkünfte, Erträge

consolation (ˌkɒnsəˈlʃən) – der Trost

endangered (ɪnˌdnʤədˈ) – gefährdet, vom Aussterben bedroht

joint motion (ʤɔɪnˈməʊʃən) – gemeinsamer Antrag

precedent (ˈpresɪdənt) – der Vergleichsfall, Präzedenzfall

to establish (ɪˈstæblɪʃ) – etw. gründen, einrichten, erschaffen

pawn (pɔ:n) – die Marionette, Schachfigur

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