Wikimedia refused to take down monkey’s selfie
British photographer David Slater demands that nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation removes from its online repository of free images a self-portrait of a monkey who “borrowed” his camera. He threatens to take them to court, if they don’t take down the picture.
In 2011, Slater traveled Indonesia, studying and photographing endangered animal species. One day, when he left his camera unattended, a macaque, who got too close, snatched it and snapped hundreds of images of itself before the owner of the device managed to retrieve it back. Most of the photos were blurred but a couple turned out really well, including a selfie (pictured) that made Slater famous.
Later, the shot appeared in Wikipedia’s collection of royalty-free images. Slater requested that the organization paid him as the author of the photo. However, Wikimedia refused after bringing up a legal argument that, since the monkey was the one who took the picture and under UK law an animal can’t own a copyright, the image belongs in the public domain.
According to The Telegraph, Slater is taking legal actions against Wikimedia Foundation and suing them for £10,000, explaining that the trip ended up costing him a lot of money and he couldn’t even partly pay for it as he suffered loss of earnings.