November 18, 2015

Daily Journal quotes Alex Weingarten on the "monkey selfie" lawsuit

1 min

Venable partner Alex Weingarten was quoted in a November 16, 2015 Daily Journal article on a lawsuit by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) against a wildlife photographer. In 2011, the photographer left his camera unattended at a wildlife preserve when an Indonesian monkey snatched the camera and took several self-portraits of himself that went viral and became known as the "monkey selfies." After the photographer published a book including the photos, PETA sued claiming he infringed on the monkey's copyright as author of the photos.

"Federal courts are dramatically overwhelmed by the workload that they have already," said Weingarten. "It's unfortunate that now this judge needs to take time and attention away from more legitimate matters to deal with this." He added that case crossed the line of what is appropriate for the court to consider. "I will be very surprised if this doesn't result in the imposition of Rule 11 sections. This is clearly a frivolous lawsuit."