Who owns the copyrights to the smiling monkey selfie?
A recent and quite unique legal battle is brewing between David Slater, a British nature photographer, and Wikimedia, owners of Wikipedia. The dispute is around the copyrights to a selfie taken by a monkey using Slater’s camera.
Back in 2011 Slater went on a wildlife photography field trip to Indonesia where a crested black macaque took amazing selfies using one of his cameras. The unique photos went viral and were also available on Wikipedia with open-copyright classification. Slater said that even though the photo was taken using his own equipment Wikimedia refuses to change the open-copyright classification claiming that it was not taken by a human and which, by copyright laws, means no one owns its copyrights.
Slater states that he’s going to fight for his rights in court. He’s explaining that he invested a great amount of time and money into that photo including the trip to the Indonesian jungle, the equipment he was carrying and the photo editing and that’s why he’s entitled to the photo’s copyrights. Let’s hope the monkey won’t sue both Slater and Wikimedia for copyright infringement.