Despite stemming from 2011, the case regarding the copyright of a photo technically taken by a monkey is not over yet. Even though photographer David Slater and animal rights group PETA reached an agreement last year, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has now rejected the request.
You’ll likely remember the story of Slater (how could you not?) who traveled to Indonesia and photographed a group of macaques. He set up his camera on a tripod, and eventually one of the animals took a “selfie.” With the image having circulated the internet (mostly because media sites and blogs claimed they had free right to, since the monkey took it, and not Slater), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) filed a lawsuit on behalf of the monkey.
Keen to resolve the matter, Slater has even previously said he is ready to retire due to his dire financial situation after a multiple year-long legal battle. When he and PETA came to an agreement last year, it was hoped that would be the last of it.
Now the Courts have intervened, refusing the agreement made by the two parties, and stating, “The grant of a voluntary dismissal is not mandatory, and sometimes neither is it advisable.” See the order here.
It’s noted that in certain cases, courts prefer to hash the issue out as a means of setting ground rules for future conflicts of a similar nature.
The case continues.
Images used with permission of David Slater.