In 2011, a monkey used a photographer’s photo camera to make some selfies. It took a court action to rule that the monkey has no copyright on the photo. The case was filed by American animal rights organization PETA (earlier posts here and here).
Photographer David Slater attempted to take a picture of the black crested macaque in Indonesia in 2011. However, the monkey picked up one of his cameras and started playing with it, taking hundreds of photos. Most images failed, but a few of the pictures were quite sharp and were published in several journals, magazines and websites.
PETA believes the black crested macaque has the copyright to the selfie, because US law does not establish that copyright only applies to people.
According to the judge that argument is a bit far-fetched, and he challenges the President and the US Congress to change the rules if they deem it fit: “If they find that animals are entitled to be given copyright, they are free under the US Constitution to make that possible.”
An animal with copyright? That’s just monkey business.
© photo by “not the monkey”
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