Thursday, August 7, 2014

Monkey Selfie Causes Copyright Controversy Between Wikimedia and Photographer

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In 2011, British photographer David Slater traveled to Indonesia to take pictures of the crested black macaque, and he succeeded. Not only did they accept him into their troop and allow him to take pictures of them, but also during the expedition, one of the monkeys went to where the photographer left his equipment, hijacked a camera and took hundreds of selfies.

Most of the selfies were no good, but a few of them were in focus and fantastic.

Now, David Slater is in a fight with the Wikimedia Foundation about the monkey selfie. They have posted the photo online in their collection of public domain images and refuse to take it down. It argues that "Slater doesn’t own the picture’s copyright because he didn’t take the picture—the monkey did. And since the monkey can’t own the rights, nobody does."

Check out the selfies below, and discuss in the comments who you think owns the images.


  1. Oh wow. That second picture, the one with all the teeth! Scary.
    Wikipedia should stop trying to be sensible and take down the pictures. Yes the monkey took the selfies but with whose equipments? Under what circumstances? Would it have taken the selfies had this man not gone into the forest and wooed these animals? I think not.

  2. creepy photos of the monkey...I believe the guy owns it not wikimedia!

  3. I say the monkeys own the pictures, damn it! Someone needs to ask the monkeys how they feel.


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