Federal court to rule on monkey's rights to its selfie photos

A federal appeals court heard arguments on whether an animal can hold a copyright to photos it took of itself.
1:22 | 07/14/17

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Transcript for Federal court to rule on monkey's rights to its selfie photos
And finally tonight, when the law of the jungle isn't enough there's the ninth circuit court of appeals. There was some serious monkey business at the ninth circuit court of appeals when the court was asked to consider who owns these world famous selfies. It makes no sense to allow a monkey to enforce a copyright suit. Reporter: The animal rights group PETA is suing wildlife photographer David slater and his book publisher blurb for copyright infringement claiming naruto the monkey is the rightful owner after he picked up slater's camera and snapped these selfies. The definition of an authorship turns on he who originates. It doesn't look at the he, she, who or what. Reporter: The smiling self-portrait was later sold by slater and also used as the cover for his book about wildlife personalities. And PETA says any proceeds from that book or sales of the image should be turned over to benefit the monkey. But according to slater's lawyer, that's bananas. Monkey see monkey sue will not do in federal court. Reporter: The case was already dismissed by a lower court last year because naruto isn't, for lack of a better word, human. But if you're going to do that it's equally absurd to deny a monkey written notice. Naruto wouldn't need written notice. Maybe the other macaque monkeys in Indonesia would. Reporter: Now it's in the hands of a federal appeals court to decide whether an animal can hold a copyright.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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