(BALTIMORESUN) — A macaque monkey who took now-famous selfie photographs should be declared the copyright owner of the photos, rather than the nature photographer who positioned the camera, animal-rights activists contend in a novel lawsuit filed Tuesday.
The suit was filed in federal court in San Francisco by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. It seeks a court order allowing PETA to administer all proceeds from the photos for the benefit of the monkey, which it identified as 6-year-old Naruto, and other crested macaques living in a reserve on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
The photos were taken during a 2011 trip to Sulawesi by British nature photographer David Slater. Through San Francisco-based self-publishing company Blurb, he has published a book called "Wildlife Personalities" that includes the "monkey selfie" photos.
Advertisement - story continues below