Who owns famous monkey 'selfie'?
Wikipedia has been up to some monkey business and now they've found themselves in the middle of a legal battle with a photographer. The dilemma has all sides asking "who owns this selfie?"
Back in 2011, nature photographer David Slater took a trip to Indonesia to take photographs of crested black macaques, never expecting that one would grab his camera and take a picture of itself.
When the picture first went viral, Slater told The Telegraph, "They were quite mischievous jumping all over my equipment, and it looked like they were already posing for the camera when one hit the button. The sound got his attention and he kept pressing it."
The monkey took hundreds of images, most of which were blurry, but two came out clear as day and were featured in magazines, TV shows, and websites around the globe. One of those websites was Wikimedia Commons, the organization added the picture to its collection of millions royalty free images, only they never licensed or credited the image to Slater. The free online encyclopedia credits "the monkey on the photo."
Wikimedia says that because the monkey snapped the selfie, he is the photographer, so despite repeated requests from Slater to take down the image, Wikimedia says he has no claim.
Slater recently told The Telegraph, "That trip cost me about £2,000 for that monkey shot. Not to mention the £5,000 of equipment I carried, the insurance, the computer stuff I used to process the images... for every 10,000 images I take, one makes money that keeps me going. And that was one of those images."
We credit Slater; that's because other news outlets seem to be doing the same, and "monkey see monkey do." If the black macaque complains, we'll change the credit. As of this report, he doesn't seem to care.