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Celebrity Monkey that snapped selfie can't claim intellectual property

A federal judge in San Francisco struck down an animal rights group's argument that a famous selfie snapped by a monkey is the primate's intellectual property

Celebrity Monkey that snapped selfie can't claim intellectual property

A federal judge in San Francisco struck down an animal rights group's argument that a famous selfie snapped by a monkey is the primate's intellectual property. UPI News reported.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) filed a U.S. federal court lawsuit in San Francisco arguing Naruto, a macaque monkey in Indonesia, should be the legal owner of pictures he snapped in 2011 using a camera set up by photographer David J. Slater.

Animal rights activists argued all proceeds from the picture, taken in 2011, should benefit the monkey.

But a court in San Francisco disagreed, ruling copyright protection cannot be applied to animals.

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Snapper David Slater, of Mathern, said he believed he was "the first person in history to be sued by an animal".

U.S. District Judge William Orrick said PETA's argument for the monkey's ownership of selfie's copyright was a "stretch."

Orrick said he will dismiss the suit in an upcoming order.

The monkey took the photograph after Mr Slater set up the camera and purposefully left it alone so it would approach and play with it.

He described the case as a "long saga" which he was "relieved to get out of the way".

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"They [PETA] are more about money and publicity than animals. They have wasted people's donations on pursuing this case," Slater added.

A spokeswoman from PETA said despite the "setback", the case was "a vital step toward fundamental rights for non-human animals for their own sake".

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