Judge: Selfie Monkey is an Issue for Obama to Deal With

By Gary Cutlack on at

Lawyers somehow acting on behalf of Selfie Monkey (and arguing with the photographer claiming the technological assist, at least) have lost their latest battle, with a judge ruling that the poor monkey can't own the copyright of the famous photo it took of itself.

US District Judge William Orrick ruled that the animal can't be designated as the holder of the intellectual property rights in a case brought by People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals -- one that said the monkey, not photographer David Slater, should be recorded as the owner of the image.

The judge basically washed his hands of the case and deferred any decision to the top brass, saying in his decision: "I'm not the person to weigh into this. This is an issue for Congress and the president. If they think animals should have the right of copyright they're free, I think, under the Constitution, to do that."

The judge was only ruling on the monkey's ability to own copyright, so there's still the ongoing battle of deciding whether or not photographer David Slater can himself be declared owner of the pic at some point in the future. [Ars]

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