A photographer whose camera was used by a monkey to take a selfie told Thursday of his anger at the copyright battle over the image. Nature photographer David Slater saw a troupe of crested black macaques in an Indonesian forest in 2011. One of the animals grabbed his camera and began taking shots including an amazing selfie. But the picture appeared on Wikimedia Commons, a collection of images free for public use.
The Wikimedia Foundation agreed with uploader of the image, ruling that the monkey had taken the shot and, since monkeys can't hold copyrights, the image is in the public domain. Slater plans legal action, saying that the photo is his because he supplied and set up the camera. “In law, if I have an assistant then I still own the copyright,” he said. “I believe there’s a case to be had that the monkey was my assistant.” Slater, from Gloucestershire, England, says he has lost tens of thousands of dollars in revenue.
- Keir Simmons, Devin Coldewey and Alastair Jamieson
First published August 7 2014, 4:20 AM