Monkey Selfie on Wikipedia Drives Photographer Bananas

A selfie taken by a monkey has ignited an unlikely copyright dispute as the camera's owner has attempted to have the photo removed from Wikipedia, where it is provided free of use and without copyright. Nature photographer David Slater traveled to Indonesia in 2011, where he ran into a troupe of crested black macaques in the forest. One of the mischievous animals grabbed his camera and began taking shots — among which were a couple amazing selfies.

Some years later, the photo ended up on Wikimedia Commons, a collection of images with no copyright that are free for the public to use. The photographer says that because he planned and funded the trip, and it was his camera with his settings, the photo is his. But the uploader suggests that because the monkey actually took the shot, and monkeys can't hold copyrights, the image is in the public domain. The Wikimedia Foundation's transparency report, describing requests to change or delete content, notes that Slater contacted it in January 2014 with his claims. The response: "We didn't agree, so we denied the request." Slater is not deterred, and plans to take the matter to court.

Koala takes a 'selfie' 1:06



— Devin Coldewey, NBC News