black crested macaque
A black crested macaque in the Tangkoko nature reserve in northern Sulawesi, Indonesia. PETA is suing photographer David Slater on behalf of Naruto, a black crested macaque, for the rights to a selfie. BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images

A Welsh photographer being sued by a monkey over the copyright to a selfie revealed he is broke, reported the Guardian Wednesday.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals accepted to review the case of whether or not the crested black macaque can own the copyright to a selfie. David Slater, 52, the photographer embroiled in the lawsuit, could not afford to travel from his home in the U.K. to San Francisco for a hearing on Wednesday. He cannot afford to replace his broken camera equipment or pay the attorney who has represented him since 2015, when People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sued him on behalf of the monkey.

Read: PETA's Smiling 'Monkey Selfie' Copyright Lawsuit Creates Appeals Court Circus

"I'm trying to become a tennis coach. I'm even thinking about doing dog walking," Slater said to the Guardian. "I don't make enough money to pay income taxes. It would pay in peanuts, but at least it would be more than photography."

Slater traveled to Sulawesi, Indonesia in 2011 to photograph a group of crested black macaques with the purpose of raising awareness about their endangered status. He guided the monkeys to press his camera shutter while looking into the lens by setting his camera on a tripod.

"It wasn't serendipitous monkey behavior. It required a lot of knowledge on my behalf, a lot of perseverance, sweat and anguish," he said.

The photograph generated enough interest for Slater to pay off his trip to Indonesia. However, in 2014, he became embroiled in a legal dispute when he asked websites Techdirt and Wikipedia to stop using the images without his permission. Both websites refused and Wikipedia even said the photograph was not subject to copyright because the monkey was the owner of the image. The US Copyright Office then ruled animals are not eligible to own copyrights.

PETA identified the monkey as a six-year-old male named Naruto. They sued Slater on behalf of Naruto in 2015, alleging the crested black macaque was the owner of the photography copyright. A judge ruled against PETA in 2016, but the organization appealed to the ninth circuit court of appeals.

"There is no way to acquire or hold money. There's no loss as to reputation," said Judge N. Randy Smith at the hearing. "There's no even allegation that the copyright could have benefitted somehow Naruto. What financial benefits apply to him? There's nothing."

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Slater also alleged the monkey PETA identified as the defendant is not the monkey in the photograph. According to him, the monkey in the photograph was a female.

"Everything I did to try and highlight the plight of the monkeys has backfired on my private life. I've had my life ruined," he said. "I can't afford to own a car. The proceeds from these photographs should have me comfortable now, and I'm not."