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The “monkey selfie” courtroom saga may soon become a movie

The “monkey selfie” courtroom saga may soon become a movie
[Photo: Wikimedia Commons]

The story behind the lawsuit that gripped the nation has been sold to Conde Nast Entertainment, reports the Hollywood Reporter. I am, of course, talking about the infamous case of the monkey selfie.

This saga began in 2011 when a wildlife photographer named David Slater set his camera down in an Indonesian forest, and a monkey swooped in and inadvertently took a picture of itself. After Slater published the photo, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) filed a lawsuit on behalf of the monkey, which the organization named Naruto. This set off a years-long court case and legal debate about copyright and attribution, one that scholars are still discussing.

Most recently, the Ninth Circuit ruled that animals could not, in fact, sue for copyright. This decision was reached even after the two parties tried to settle. There’s a lot going on here, and I suppose it could be fodder for a good courtroom drama/jungle adventure. So I guess it isn’t terribly surprising that Conde scooped up Slater’s life rights. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the publisher’s entertainment studio plans to make a movie.

With this story finally being told on the silver screen, I foresee the next debate being whether a monkey can win an Academy Award.