Headline of the Week
Abby Humphreys


Headline of the Week

Weekly, the Racer X Slack thread is filled with great headlines from newspapers around the globe. So, we’ve decided to make it a weekly feature here on Exhaust.

If there’s one thing PETA wants meat-eaters to know, it’s that its supporters won’t stand for any monkey business.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (or “People Eating Tasty Animals,” if you’re trying to annoy a vegetarian), sued wildlife photographer David Slater in 2015 for publishing photos that a crested macaque in Indonesia had taken with his camera, the Huffington Post reports. Slater was visiting Indonesia and left his camera unattended. While Slater was gone, the macaque took several selfies while checking out the camera, which Slater then posted online through his photography company. (You can see one of the photos here.)

True to its nature, PETA sued Slater, claiming that the macaque was a victim of copyright infringement. They argued that Slater was violating the macaque’s rights by posting the photos and claiming ownership of the monkey’s intellectual property. 

Time.com explains that PETA and Slater eventually settled out of court, with Slater agreeing to donate 25 percent of funds made off the photos to a crested macaque charity. The lawyers of both parties asked to dismiss the case, but the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave a ruling earlier this week anyway, claiming that it could set an example for similar cases involving animals’ humanity in the future.

“We conclude that this monkey—and all animals, since they are not human—lacks statutory standing under the Copyright Act,” Judge Carlos Bea said of the case. Another judge, N. Randy Smith, called the ordeal “frivolous.”

But the best part of the whole thing? The monkey’s name was Naruto, which is also the titular character of a popular Japanese animated television show for kids. I can only imagine what the court dialogue would have sounded like out of context.

Here's what this headline would look like in print: