Copyright conundrums — monkeying about with a camera

By Gary Assim

David Slater, a nature photographer from Gloucestershire, argues that he owns the copyright in a now-famous image taken using his camera — however, Wikipedia claims that there is no copyright in the image because it was actually taken by a monkey.

In 2011 Mr Slater followed a group of crested black macaques in Indonesia for three days, taking pictures as he went. It is unclear how it came about but one of the monkeys took a ‘selfie’ picture using Mr Slater’s camera and this picture ended up online and subsequently on Wikipedia.

Mr Slater claims that he owns the copyright in the image because the picture was taken on his camera. Wikipedia argues that because Mr Slater did not press the button he cannot own the rights in the image and therefore because monkeys are not legal persons the picture is in the public domain…

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