“It is absurd to say a monkey can sue for copyright infringement,” Angela Dunning, an attorney for the photographer, told the court during a hearing in San Francisco. “Naruto can’t benefit financially from his work. He is a monkey.”
A federal district judge in San Francisco decided last year that Naruto lacked standing to sue. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an animal rights group representing Naruto, appealed.
Dunning told the 9th Circuit that PETA filed the case simply to promote its campaign to give animals more rights. The group was “not even sure they have the right monkey,” she said.