We live in a litigious world.

Remember? A monkey sued a photographer for the rights to his own image.

Think that’s funny. He might have won. And now they’re not even sure he’s a he.

Maybe not a monkey’s uncle, eh?

A macaque took a selfie in the jungle and when you see the photo, it’s obviously headed for his online dating profile and then straight to the poolroom.

Narutu pressed the shutter on photographer David Slater’s camera in 2011when David was in Sulawesi, an Indonesian island east of Borneo.

I guess that if you have a name, you can have PETA make the world ask: Who owns the image? The monkey or the man? in a legal action it said was in recognition that this snap-happy crested black macaque, “.. is someone, not something”.

Makes you wonder why David Slater didn’t counter with property crimes and compensation for a vandalised camera.

The lawyer for Slater’s publisher, also a defendant, raised the question of whether PETA has even identified the right monkey – something Slater disputes.

“I know for a fact that (macaque) is a female and it’s the wrong age,” he said. “I’m bewildered at the American court system. Surely it matters that the right monkey is suing me.”

Slater spent several days following and photographing a troop of macaques and has long maintained the shots are the result of his patience and ingenuity in coaxing the monkeys into pressing the shutter. It occurred to him to do this after he struggled to with getting a wide-angled close-up in which their eyes were open.

David claims it was his perservance rather than Narutu/Not Narutu’s natural behaviour that produced the close-ups and I think that’s hard to determine when you’re dealing with a monkey.

Especially one with legal representation.

Anyway the case went on for years, lives were ruined; the usual stuff. Somewhere in the jungles of Sulawesi a dubiously identified macaque anxiously waited to find out if they were indeed the US copyright holder of an image of their own face, that they held in front of a camera that wasn’t theirs and pushed down on something for a bit of a lark.

A monkey lark.

It was either that, or outright animal intent to cause an international legal ruckus to have PETA manage the lucrid copyright of the selfies and license them for commercial use. All royalties were to be specifically used for Naruto’s benefit and that of his extended family, who are impacted by encroaching human development.

A pack of macaques in slapped up shack couldn’t make that up.

The photograph became popular, and Slater earned a few thousand pounds that basically covered the cost of the trip. But the image became the subject of a complicated legal dispute in 2014 when Slater requested Techdirt and Wikipedia to stop using it without permission.

Both websites refused, with Wikipedia claiming that the photograph was uncopyrightable because the monkey was the actual creator of the image.

So marked the beginning of this monkey business. The US Copyright Office subsequently ruled that animals cannot own copyrights and PETA appealed to the ninth circuit court of appeal.

Among the points of contention were: whether PETA had a close enough relationship with Naruto to represent them in court; the value of providing written notice of a copyright claim to a community of macaques; and whether Naruto was actually harmed by not being recognised as a copyright-holder.

Let’s hope he knows nothing of Tik Tok.

At one point, the considered question was how copyright would be passed down to the macaque’s heirs.

“In the world of Naruto, is there legitimacy and illegitimacy?” asked the Judge. “Are Naruto’s offspring ‘children’, as defined by the statute?”

Monkey do, monkey sue it seems when a monkey makes made a monkey out of the shot of which every photographer dreams.

That being the case, you can most certainly sue your dentist. You can sue anyone for anything, really. It just has to be a reasonable case and a reasonable case against a dentist can only be for negligence. Not that the cd you brought didn’t play properly through the earphones, or that the mouthwash was far too minty and ruined the taste of $6 coffees for days.

A quality dentist doesn’t have to worry about such things is a reasonable assumption. Still, the unexpected can happen in the dental chair. Why not. It’s life.

Getting compensation from negligent dentists is easy whe significant harm of at least 5% of whole person impairment has been suffered, under the assessment of national body guidelines.

Below standard treatments can, and have happened; inadequate training always has the potential to cause permanent or longterm injury. As the direct result of a dental malpractise you are most certainly legally entitled to compensation, and you are constitutionally entitled to exercise that right.

One would trust to never be in that postion. Permanent nerve damage, altered speech and/or taste, damaged bone structure, jaw deformites, ongoing disease or severe psychological trauma are the injury cases that win.

Surely no amount of money can be worth that, especially when it happens in a dentist’s chair. It’s already a place nightmares which is why dentists sometimes have a case against vexatious litigants.

You cannot sue because the dental nurse didn’t extract fluid quickly enough or that the fees were too high, that it was painful, or that the staff spoke rudely to you when you had a mouth full of medical packing.

Dentists are governed by a code of conduct with regulated practice registration.

Choose a dental clinic with high ethics and avoid problems with macaques and Minoltas.

We’re all for animals having fundamental rights, absolutely – but the fundamental right to act like a monkey’s arse is something only a human can think of doing.