Monkey selfie: Photographer criticises Peta court appeal
A photographer at the centre of a court case over a “monkey selfie” has criticised the animal charity which has brought the legal action.
A monkey took the image in the Indonesian jungle in 2011 when it picked up a camera owned by David Slater from Monmouthshire.
Appeal judges are yet to make a decision in the latest case.
Mr Slater, of Chepstow, said he was upset Peta was spending the money it received from donors on lawyers, after its earlier court claim was rejected.
But Peta said its action was “consistent with its charitable aims” and it hoped any money from the photo’s royalties would benefit monkeys.
Peta’s appeal on behalf of the macaque monkey was heard this week in a San Francisco court, with an outcome expected in the coming months.
Mr Slater has argued it took “much time and more perseverance” over several days to get the selfie and other photos.
He said he put in a lot of effort which was more than enough for him to claim copyright.
The case was listed as “Naruto v David Slater” but the identity of the monkey is also in dispute, with Peta claiming it is a female called Naruto and Mr Slater saying it is a different male macaque.
Mr Slater said he was a conservationist and interest in the image had already helped animals in Indonesia.
He said: “This is what upsets me and I hope it upsets a lot of other people who donate money to Peta.”
Mr Slater said if he lost the case – or wins but is ordered to pay costs – he would be in serious financial trouble.
Peta would not comment on how much money it had spent but claimed that by acting on the macaque’s behalf, it hoped to ensure all potential royalties from the image go towards protecting monkeys and their habitat.
The charity claims the monkey had “made the cause-and-effect connection between pressing the shutter button and the change to his reflection in the camera lens, resulting in his now-famous selfie photographs”.
It argued it was clear that in these circumstances the copyright was owned by the monkey “and Peta is proud to be his voice in court”.