So photographer David Slater wants Wikipedia to remove a monkey selfie that was taken with his camera. As you can see from this screen shot, Wikipedia says no: the monkey pressed the shutter so it owns the copyright.
We got NPR’s in-house legal counsel, Ashley Messenger, to weigh in. She said:
Traditional interpretation of copyright law is that the person who captured the image owns the copyright. That would be the monkey. The photographer’s best argument is that the monkey took the photo at his direction and therefore it’s work for hire. But that’s not a great argument because it’s not clear the monkey had the intent to work at the direction of the photographer nor is it clear there was “consideration” (value) exchanged for the work. So… It’s definitely an interesting question! Or the photographer could argue that leaving the camera to see what would happen is his work an therefore the monkey’s capture of the image was really the photographer’s art, but that would be a novel approach, to my knowledge.
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