The group filed the suit Monday in California

By Alex Heigl
Updated September 23, 2015 08:05 PM
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PETA has entered the fray surrounding the legal battle over the pictures taken by Indonesia’s famous “selfie monkey.”

To recap: Naturo, the monkey in question, stepped up to photographer David J. Slater’s camera when he stepped away from it for a moment and took the beautiful selfie you see above. Slater was none too pleased when the picture started getting passed around without any money changing hands, claiming that the pictures “required a large input from myself,” and that as such, he was their rightful owner.

“While the claim of authorship by species other than homo sapiens may be novel, ‘authorship; under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq., is sufficiently broad so as to permit the protections of the law to extend to any original work, including those created by Naruto,” PETA said in the suit they filed in San Francisco. (The photos were taken in Indonesia, but the group is claiming that a federal court in California has jurisdiction since the publisher of Slater’s book is located in the state.)

Slater called the group’s efforts “entertaining but sad” in a Facebook post. He has worked with PETA in the past, he says, and, “Had they contacted me I would support them in efforts to get animals recognized legally with an aim to promote animal dignity.”

“Sadly,” the post continues, “they choose to attack me personally in this ridiculous way which puts me under more financial and emotional stress.”

PETA filed the suit Monday. It will likely be some time before we hear any further developments about it, so we’re going to spend the time predicting which animal will supplant pizza rat.

Our money’s on bagel badger.