Monkey selfie prompts copyright debate

If a monkey takes a selfie, who owns the copyright? According to Wikipedia, no one does.

In 2011, photographer David Slater was taking pictures of crested macaques in Indonesia, when one of the primates went up to his gear and snapped several pictures.

The iconic selfies went viral in short order, and Slater has been trying to get Wikimedia Commons to stop distributing the picture for free.

Wikimedia argues that because Slater didn't snap the picture himself, he doesn't own the copyright. This led to the amusing assertion—albeit a wrong one—that Wikimedia was therefore claiming the monkey owned the copyright.

However, a search of the image on Wikimedia Commons carries the following statement regarding permission: "This file is in the public domain, because as the work of a non-human animal, it has no human author in whom copyright is vested."


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