Who Owns It?
An English photographer named David Slater was on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi taking photos of a crested black macaques. Just like children, the macaques were posing for the camera when one of them accidentally pressed the shutter button. Intrigued by the sound, the monkey kept pressing it. Voila! A collection of macaque selfless!
The photos were posted on websites and TV shows all over the world. Now here comes the tricky part. One of Wikimedia Commons employees saw the photos and added them to the websites royalty-free image collection.
Because of the popularity of the photos, Slater wanted to copyright the images so he could get paid for their future use. When the photographer contacted Wikimedia to remove the images they refused stating that Slater didn’t take the photos, the monkey did, and only humans can own a copyright.
According the The Telegraph, Mr. Slater now faces and estimated £10,000 legal bill to take the matter to court. Should the matter go to court? No. Will Wikimedia do the right thing by honoring the request of the owner of the photographs? We’ll just have to wait and see.
In the meantime, enjoy the Rolling Stones – Monkey Man: