Monkey Selfie Lawsuit Kicks Off

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During a hearing, a three-judge panel of the USA 9th Circuit Court of Appeals considered a lawsuit by an Indonesian macaque named Naruto.

A three-judge panel of the appeals court took the case under submission after hearing arguments in its San Francisco courthouse and will issue a written ruling at a later date.

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Kerr added: "When science and technology advance, the law adapts".

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The freakish legal wrangle dates from 2011 when Mr Slater was on a photographic shoot on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

PETA attorney David Schwartz argued that Naruto was used to cameras and snapped the now-infamous selfie when he saw his reflection in the lens.

Slater's company holds the British copyright for the photos, and he says it should be honored worldwide.

A federal judge ruled previous year that the monkey can not be declared the photos' copyright owner.

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"We have to look at the word "authorship" in the broadest sense," he said.

But later in 2015 animal rights group PETA filed a case of copyright infringement against Slater and the San Francisco-based self-publishing company Blurb, which published a book called 'Wildlife Personalities.' The book included the selfie of Naruto.

The battle over now-famous selfie photographs taken by a macaque monkey will head back to federal court. Angela Dunning, an attorney for Blurb, wondered at the possibilities if they do not prevail. The group was "not even sure they have the right monkey", she said.

PETA's initial complaint referred only to the relationship between Engelhardt and Naruto and PETA did not allege any relationship with the monkey.

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Andrew J. Dhuey, representing Slater, said PETA should be required to pay the photographer's legal fees to defend himself. He quipped after the hearing that Naruto made a tactical mistake by not appearing in court.

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