PETA brought this copyright infringement suit on behalf of a macaque monkey whom Slater lured into taking selfies which Slater later copied and sold. PETA brought the action allegedly as the monkey’s “next of friend.” The majority holds that though there is serious doubt that PETA could satisfy the second requirement for next of friend representation—that it has some significant relationship with, and is truly dedicated to the best interests of, the monkey—the failure to satisfy next of friend status would not deprive the court of jurisdiction to hear the case. Also, the majority holds that the monkey has Article III standing as it would have suffered an injury in fact if a human had infringed its copyright in its selfies. However, the monkey lacked statutory standing. To confer statutory standing on animals, Congress must say so expressly. It didn’t do so in the Copyright Act. So Naruto can’t sue for Slater’s use of his selfies.
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Bea, J.; Smith, N.R., concurring); April 23, 2018; 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 10129