No. 28

Monkey Selfie – Who Owns the Rights?

If a monkey accidentally takes a ‘selfie’ or photo of itself with your camera, who do you think owns the copyright?

That is exactly the conundrum facing photographer David J. Slater after a Macaque from Indonesia accidentally pressed the shutter button and took his own picture using David’s camera.

The image, which became popular on Twitter and Reddit, now appears on Wikimedia.  When David recently asked Wikimedia to remove the image, they declined stating that David technically wasn’t the photographer  and didn’t own the copyright (he didn’t hit the shutter button).

David is now considering legal action against Wikimedia and if he could prove that his artistic vision contributed significantly to the execution of the photo, he could have a case.

You can view the ‘Monkey Selfie’on this website.