Monkey business settled

A bizarre two-year court battle over the copyright of a "monkey selfie" that went viral was finally settled on Monday - in favour of a British nature photographer.

Mr David Slater won an appeal against the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) over the copyright of the photograph, which was taken by a seven- year-old rare crested macaque named Naruto. The animal, which lives on a reserve in Indonesia, had used Mr Slater's camera to take several photographs, including several selfies, in 2011.

After the monkey's selfie went viral, Peta filed a suit in 2015 against the photographer on the macaque's behalf, arguing that it should be declared the owner of the photo and receive damages for copyright infringement that would be used for habitat preservation.

But a judge in the United States ruled last year that it cannot own the copyright to the photograph because it is not human.

Peta then filed an appeal against the ruling, but it was recently dismissed as both parties reached a settlement, the animal rights group said on Monday.

Peta also said it would continue to establish legal rights for animals.

"Everyone deserves the rights we hold dear: to live as they choose, to be with their families, to be free from abuse and suffering, and to benefit from their own creations."

Charmaine Ng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2017, with the headline 'Monkey business settled'. Print Edition | Subscribe