On Wednesday, a federal appeals court will embark on a legal safari of sorts: animal rights activists, representing an Indonesian monkey named Naruto, are set to argue to the San Francisco-based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals that their monkey client should be recognized as the lawful owner of property.
The property at issue are a few infamous and viral selfies that the macaque monkey snapped of himself in the Tangkoko reserve on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi in 2011. The monkey's self-appointed lawyers from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are suing David Slater, the British nature photographer whose camera was swiped by the monkey while the photographer was on a jungle shoot.
Slater has published a book with the pictures Naruto took of himself. Now the monkey—via PETA—is seeking monetary damages for copyright infringement from Slater and Blurb, the online publishing platform where the photos appeared.