Tags: monkey | selfie | copyright | fight | photographer | wikimedia

Monkey Selfie: Who Owns Copyright? Photographer Fights Wikimedia

Image: Monkey Selfie: Who Owns Copyright? Photographer Fights Wikimedia
This monkey selfie is the subject of a copyright battle between photographer David Slater and Wikimedia Commons. (David Slater/Wikimedia Commons)

By    |   Wednesday, 06 Aug 2014 08:32 PM

British photographer David Slater claims he owns the copyright to a selfie taken by a monkey in 2011 and has asked Wikimedia Commons to remove the monkey selfie from its website.

The photo of the crested black macaque was taken by the animal after Slater left his tripod set up in the Indonesian forest and came back to find the monkeys playing with it.

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The photo drew widespread attention, making the rounds on the Internet and showing up on the Wikipedia page for the species. Wikimedia Commons, which hosts photos in the public domain, declined to remove the photo from its site.

“Monkeys don’t own copyrights,” Katherine Maher, Wikimedia Foundation’s chief communications officer, said, according to The Washington Post. “What we found is that U.S. copyright law says that works that originate from a non-human source can’t claim copyright.”

But Slater says the expense to him in securing the photos, not to mention money he's losing out on by it being in the public domain, is significant.

“This is ruining my business,” Slater told the Post. “If it was a normal photograph and I had claimed I had taken it, I would potentially be a lot richer than I am.”

Charles Swan, an intellectual property expert in London, called Slater’s claim ridiculous.

“The legal situation as far as European copyright is concerned is that a photograph has to be the author’s own intellectual creation,” he told Time. “If a monkey takes a picture, that can be considered an author’s intellectual creation. The fact that [David Slater] owns the camera has nothing to do with it.”

Twitter users reacted with amusement.







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British photographer David Slater claims he owns the copyright to a selfie taken by a monkey in 2011 and has asked Wikimedia Commons to remove the monkey selfie from its website.
monkey, selfie, copyright, fight, photographer, wikimedia
406
2014-32-06
Wednesday, 06 Aug 2014 08:32 PM
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