Somewhere in the jungles of Indonesia — perhaps fleeing a lion or eating a banana in a tree — is a monkey who takes a mean selfie.
That monkey is now in the middle of a bizarre copyright battle between Wikimedia and nature photographer David Slater of Gloucestershire, England.
The trouble started in 2011 when Slater ventured to an Indonesian jungle to take photos of extremely rare crested black macaque monkeys. A curious female grabbed his camera and snapped hundreds of shots before Slater eventually retrieved it.
Most of the monkey’s efforts weren’t so good but a few are gems and now they’re posted on Wikimedia Commons, where images and videos are offered to the public for free.
One grinning monkey selfie is so good it was nominated for the best public domain photo on Wikimedia Commons.
In the monkey’s grinning self-portrait, she is looking directly into the camera lens, presumably smiling at her reflection.
Slater apparently doesn’t find any humour in what he considers Wikimedia, the organization behind Wikipedia, monkeying with his livelihood.
He argues the photos are rightly his. It was his effort and expense that got him to the jungle on the island of Sulawesi with his expensive equipment. He hired the guide who led him deep into the wilds, where the inquisitive monkey could grab his camera and start snapping.
He has also argued that he would hold the copyright to any images taken by an assistant. In effect, the smiling simian was his assistant that day in the jungle, he reasoned.
In an interview, Slater said he has repeatedly asked Wikipedia to take the monkey photos down from Wikimedia Commons.
“They know I claim to hold not just ownership of the image but copyright too,” Slater says.
Source : thestar.com
Updates – 21-Aug-2014
Monkey Selfie Can’t Be Copyrighted, U.S. Regulators Confirm read more here