Sep 5, 2018

Monkey business clogging up the courts

We earlier reported on the plight of Naruto and the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit's decision that as a macaque monkey he could not own copyright. You can read that article here.

Amazingly, that did not end the matter and a judge of that court made the unusual request for an 'en banc' rehearing of the case. The 'en banc' procedure does not exist in UK law, but in the US it involves a full rehearing of an earlier decision before all of the judges of the court (rather than just a selection of them). In order to proceed to an en banc rehearing a majority of the eligible judges of the court would have to vote in favour of rehearing the matter.

Unfortunately for Naruto he did not get the votes, and so the matter will not be reheard. That will be disappointing news for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (better known as PETA), who had argued Naruto's case as "next friends", despite a judge finding that they could not do so. It is not known how Naruto feels about the decision.

It is unclear whether the photographer whose camera Naruto triggered, David Slater, still intends to donate a quarter of the revenues generated by the monkey-selfie to protecting the macaque in Indonesia.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0191 281 4000 or

in: Copyright, EU/International

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