National Roundup

California
Sides agree to stop monkeying around in primate selfie lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Monkey see. Monkey sue. Monkey settle.

Attorneys representing a macaque monkey have agreed to a compromise in a case where they asserted the animal owned the copyright to selfie photos it had shot with a photographer’s camera.

Under the deal, the photographer agreed to donate 25 percent of any future revenue from the images to charities dedicated to protecting crested macaques in Indonesia, said the lawyers from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals who filed the lawsuit.

Attorneys for the group and the photographer, David Slater, on Monday asked the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss the case and throw out a lower-court decision that said animals cannot own copyrights.

Andrew J. Dhuey, an attorney for Slater, declined to comment on how much money the photos have generated or whether Slater would keep all of the remaining 75 percent of future revenue.

“PETA and David Slater agree that this case raises important, cutting-edge issues about expanding legal rights for non-human animals, a goal that they both support, and they will continue their respective work to achieve this goal,” Slater and PETA said in a joint statement.

There was no immediate ruling from the 9th Circuit on the dismissal.

PETA sued on behalf of the monkey in 2015, seeking financial control of the photographs for the benefit of the monkey named Naruto that snapped the photos with Slater’s camera.

Lawyers for Slater argued that his company, Wildlife Personalities Ltd., owns worldwide commercial rights to the photos, including a now-famous selfie of the monkey’s toothy grin.

The photos were taken during a 2011 trip to Sulawesi, Indonesia, with an unattended camera owned by Slater. Slater said the British copyright obtained for the photos by Wildlife Personalities should be honored worldwide.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick said in a ruling in favor of Slater last year that “while Congress and the president can extend the protection of law to animals as well as humans, there is no indication that they did so in the Copyright Act.” The 9th Circuit was considering PETA’s appeal.

The lawyers notified the appeals court on Aug. 4 that they were nearing a settlement and asked the judges not to rule. A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit heard oral arguments in the case in July.

New York
Complaints about festival’s cold pizza prompt state inquiry

NEW YORK (AP) — Some New York City foodies say a neighborhood pizza festival has left them with a bad taste in their mouths.

Prosecutors are looking into the New York City Pizza Festival after attendees fumed they paid $75 each to eat cold slivers of pizza in a parking lot in Brooklyn on Saturday.

The festival was promoted as a celebration of pizza. Attendees say on Facebook they instead got cold slices of pizza “smaller than a sample size,” served with glasses of warm wine.

WNBC-TV reports Democratic state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is urging attendees to file complaints on his website. A spokesman says prosecutors opened an investigation Monday.

Festival organizer Ishmael Osekre says event producer Hangry Garden delayed the event. The event producer contends it was misled by the organizer and wasn’t paid.

Ohio
High court rules apology admitting fault can’t be used in lawsuits

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that an apology by a medical provider that includes an admission of liability can’t be used in a later lawsuit against the provider.

At issue in the court’s Tuesday decision was the state’s “apology law,” which already bars using apologies in lawsuits.

The new question before the court was whether an apology that includes an expression of fault can also be kept out of lawsuits.

Justice Sharon Kennedy wrote that under Ohio law the apology may include an acknowledgment that a patient’s medical care fell below standards of care without it later being used as evidence.

The court looked at the case of a woman in Brown County in southern Ohio who died after trying to kill herself in a hospital.

Tennessee
Woman charged with attempted murder of homeless man

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A woman has been charged with attempted murder in the shooting of a homeless man in Nashville last month.

News outlets report 26-year-old Katie Quackenbush was charged Monday night in the Aug. 26 shooting of 54-year-old Gerald Melton near Music Row.

Metro Nashville Police say Melton was disturbed by exhaust fumes and loud music coming from Quackenbush’s Porsche SUV while trying to sleep at 3 a.m., and asked her to move the vehicle. Police say the two began yelling at each other, and Quackenbush exited the vehicle and shot Melton twice before running up the street with another woman.

Quackenbush’s father Jesse Quackenbush disputed the police account, saying his daughter fired the shots in self-defense as a warning, and didn’t know Melton was hit.

Melton remains hospitalized with critical injuries.

Maryland
Parents get probation for ‘pranks’ on kids

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — A husband and wife who posted controversial “prank” videos of themselves berating their children have been sentenced to five years of probation.

The Baltimore Sun reported Monday that Heather and Mike Martin each entered Alford pleas to two counts of child neglect. The pleas allow them to maintain their innocence while acknowledging the evidence.

The Maryland couple uploaded videos to their “DaddyOFive” YouTube channel. In them, the parents screamed profanities at their children and broke their toys. They later apologized.

The investigation focused on two biological children of Michael Martin and the stepchildren of Heather Martin. Prosecutors said the kids experienced “substantial impairments of their mental or psychological ability to function.”

The probation precludes the Martins from contact with those children or their biological mother unless permitted by a court.

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