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Comparison closed: Animal protectionists give up in the dispute over monkey-self-help

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017 | Gadgets

A strange dispute about monkey self-esteem ends with an equally odd comparison: the controversial animal protection organization Peta dropped a complaint against the British photographer David Slater before a US federal court, which had claimed the rights in the photos for itself. In return, Slater undertook to donate 25 percent of the future income from a book of monkey photos for the preservation of macaque habitats in Indonesia, Peta said. Thus, photos taken by animals are not protected by copyright. Peta is therefore no longer seeking a basic decision before the US Supreme Court.

The case had become known in August 2014, because Wikipedia had uploaded several photos, the Naruto called monkey with Slaters camera in 2011 had snapped. The Onlinelexikon refused to remove the images after a complaint from the photographer. The argument: Slater does not have copyright on the photos because he did not take the pictures himself. A few weeks later, the US copyright authority gave the animals rights to their own works.
High court costs threatened
Peta then went a step further. The organization demanded compensation for the monkey because the photographer was supposed to have illegally marketed the images on the Blurb platform. But the responsible district judge dismissed the lawsuit against Slater and Blurb in January 2016. According to a report from Ars Technica, an out-of-court agreement was reached in August 2017. Perhaps Peta wanted to prevent her from remaining in court in the event of a further defeat at court costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Parts of the settlement, which could contain possible payments to Blurb to cover the legal costs, are secret according to Ars Technica.

The financial success for Naruto's habitat is likely to be limited. According to Slater, Slater does not earn any income from marketing the images. In addition, the trial has brought him to financial ruin because of the legal costs. He said to the British Guardian last July that he could no longer afford to take pictures. He thought instead of becoming a tennis teacher or a dog. He could not even pay for his flight to the San Francisco court case.

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