PETA person of the year: Meet Naruto, a nonhuman, who emerged as top pick

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Published: December 7, 2017 12:14:16 PM

Another feather has been added to the cap of Naruto, after his grinning selfie went viral in 2011!

Naruto, PETA person of the year, PETA, Indonesian macaque, David Slater, monkey, animals groupAnother feather has been added to the cap of Naruto, after his grinning selfie went viral in 2011! (Image: Associated Press)

Another feather has been added to the cap of Naruto, after his grinning selfie went viral in 2011! Naruto has been given the title of Person of the Year 2017 by the world’s largest and most famous animal rights group. In case you are wondering what all this is about, then let us reveal that Naruto is a monkey. In fact, an Indonesian free-living macaque has been recognized as PETA’s Person of the Year 2017. Naruto’s claim to fame was that he had shot a grinning self-portrait with a camera, that quickly went viral and had attracted worldwide attention, so much so that, this monkeys selfie had triggered a copyright row. PETA has said that by honoring Naruto they want people to acknowledge him as a person who matters. In its statement, The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said, it was honoring Naruto, to recognise that “he is someone, not something”. In 2011, a macaque had snapped a selfie portrait using a camera that belonged to a British photographer, David Slater. His self-portrait was published in the British media by the photographer and had gained worldwide attention. With the rising popularity of the photographer, the case of the self-portrait took an ugly turn when David asked Wikipedia to remove the picture from public domain which they had taken without permission. In its response, Wikipedia refused to take down the picture, citing that the copyright belonged to the monkey.

The issue took another turn when PETA intervened the matter and argued that the copyright belonged to Naruto too. PETA had further said that Naruto should be “declared the author and owner of his photograph”. In the latest, PETA Founder Ingrid Newkirk has said, “Naruto’s historic selfie challenged the idea of who is a person and who is not and resulted in the first-ever lawsuit seeking to declare a nonhuman animal the owner of the property, rather than being declared property himself.”

However, David has maintained his position that he owned the rights to the pictures. He said that he had created the setup, which included setting up the tripod and then walking away for a while, only to find out that monkey had taken a self-portrait of himself. At last, in September, the matter was settled between PETA and David, with the British photographer agreeing to donate 25 per cent of any future revenue he earned from selling the self-portrait of the monkey.

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