Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The legal battle over a monkey's selfie is now getting a movie

Illustration for article titled The legal battle over a monkeys selfie is now getting a movieem/em
Photo: Lintao Zhang (Getty Images)

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Condé Nast Entertainment has picked up the rights to the story of David Slater, a wildlife photographer who found himself caught in a weird legal battle when a crested macaque named Naruto (believe it!) took some selfies using a camera he had set up in an Indonesian forest. Slater published the photos, because they were hilarious, and PETA eventually to sue him on Naruto’s behalf because it believed the monkey should control the copyright to the photos. After a contentious dispute, Slater agreed to donate a portion of the money he makes from the photos to charities working to protect crested macaques.


It’s hard to imagine how this movie will look, or even what the tone of it will be, since it’s the sort of legal case that was probably more interesting on paper than it was in the actual courtroom. It’s not like the monkey can talk and it’s going to take the stand to defend itself, but the movie will have to capture the absurdity of the story and it’s weird implications for the future of digital rights in order to really explain why it’s worth telling in the first place.

Anyway, that’s for Condé Nast to figure out now.

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