The "Monkey Selfie" and Granting Copyrights to Nonhuman Animals
The case of Naruto v. Slater, which is pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, seeks to award the copyright to the internationally famous "Monkey Selfies" to Naruto, the crested macaque who took the photos with an unattended camera. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. (PETA), acting as Naruto's next friend, asserts that he is the "author" of the work and therefore owns the copyright and is entitled to the financial proceeds.
We are pleased to have Jeff Kerr, general counsel to PETA and one of Naruto's attorneys, speak about the genesis of the case, its legal foundations, and the implications for the recognition of fundamental rights of animals.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
321 South Plymouth Court
Jeff is an international pioneer and leader in the field of animal law. He built and leads the world's largest in-house legal team working for animal rights. In 2012, he argued Tilikum v. SeaWorld, the first lawsuit seeking constitutional rights for animals, arguing that SeaWorld enslaves orcas in violation of the 13th Amendment. In 2013, his team won the first constitutional challenge to an "ag-gag" law designed to prevent undercover investigations of animal abuse, which are vital to exposing and ending cruelty to animals. He and his team have obtained groundbreaking precedents for animals around the world, including the first cruelty-to-animals convictions of factory-farm employees for abusing pigs and birds; the first U.S. and international crush-video convictions, including a life sentence; the first British case upholding the right to show undercover footage of animal abuse; the first Australian case upholding the right to call for a product boycott against animal-abusive practices; and the first state supreme court decision recognizing the right to gather and publicize undercover video footage of animal abuse. He has been involved in numerous copyright and trademark matters, including winning the first case brought under the federal anti-cybersquatting law to recover the PETA.org domain name.
Jeff is also a staunch defender of human rights, having served on the board of directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia for 10 years, chairing its policy and legal committees and serving as president for the last two.
The event is free of charge.
1 Hour of Illinois CLE Credit Pending