Wikimedia: Monkey Selfie Is Staying Put
It's in public domain because a monkey took it, not a human, say editors
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2014 5:37 PM CDT
Wikimedia's caption: "Taken by a macaque in Sulawesi, with David Slater's camera. As the work was not created by a human author, it is not eligible for a copyright claim in the US."   (Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – Strangest copyright dispute ever: British photographer David Slater wants Wikimedia Commons to take down photos of a monkey taken with his camera, but the site refuses because a monkey pushed the button. As the Telegraph explains, Slater traveled to Indonesia in 2011 at his own expense to photograph crested black macaques. One of the monkeys got curious about his camera after he set it up and managed to snap hundreds of selfies before Slater got it back under his control. Most were out of focus, though one in particular of the monkey flashing a grin has become relatively famous.

Slater insists he owns the rights and is losing income, but Wikimedia has again denied his takedown request. It argues that because an animal was the photographer, no human (or monkey) owns the copyright and thus the images belong in the public domain, explains Gizmodo. Slater says a court should have the final say, though it's not clear whether he'll be able to foot the legal bills. Wikimedia is the parent foundation of Wikipedia.

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Showing 3 of 93 comments
Aug 7, 2014 4:05 PM CDT
If a corporation is a person, then a monkey is definitely a person, it's the monkey's photo, he should sue Wikipedia.
Chris Farley
Aug 7, 2014 7:50 AM CDT
Was is his camera? Doesnt really matter who or what pushed the button when it was taken from him.
Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
Aug 7, 2014 7:16 AM CDT
If you look at this and see George Bush you just have a great sense of humor. If you see Barrack Obama you're a filthy racist obviously intent on bringing down all blacks and should have the full resources of the US government brought down on your head. It's like the difference between a tax deduction and a tax loophole. If you get it and I like you you're just taking a legitimate tax deduction and are wise, if you get it and I don't like you you're taking advantage of a tax loophole and are a criminal.