Photographer wages potential legal battle with Wikimedia over mo - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Photographer wages potential legal battle with Wikimedia over monkey's selfie

A British photographer and Wikimedia could be facing a legal battle over whether he or a monkey own the rights to a photograph that’s been seen across the internet. (Source: Wikimedia Commons screenshot) A British photographer and Wikimedia could be facing a legal battle over whether he or a monkey own the rights to a photograph that’s been seen across the internet. (Source: Wikimedia Commons screenshot)
  • InternationalMore>>

  • In big shift, Trump assesses Kim Jong Un as 'very honorable'

    In big shift, Trump assesses Kim Jong Un as 'very honorable'

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 11:45 AM EDT2018-04-24 15:45:54 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 1:00 AM EDT2018-04-25 05:00:30 GMT
    (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais). President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron during their meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 24, 2018.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais). President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron during their meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 24, 2018.
    President Donald Trump says North Korea wants to hold a high-stakes meeting "as soon as possible" and he is praising Kim Jong Un as "very open" and "very honorable.".Full Story >
    President Donald Trump says North Korea wants to hold a high-stakes meeting "as soon as possible" and he is praising Kim Jong Un as "very open" and "very honorable.".Full Story >
  • Trump backtracks on Syria after talks with French leader

    Trump backtracks on Syria after talks with French leader

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 5:56 PM EDT2018-04-24 21:56:39 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 1:00 AM EDT2018-04-25 05:00:23 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in the East Room of the White House, Tuesday, April 24, 2018, in Washington.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in the East Room of the White House, Tuesday, April 24, 2018, in Washington.
    One month ago President Donald Trump surprised many by announcing the U.S. would withdraw from Syria soon, but after talks with France's president he appears to have changed his mind.Full Story >
    One month ago President Donald Trump surprised many by announcing the U.S. would withdraw from Syria soon, but after talks with France's president he appears to have changed his mind.Full Story >
  • Australia: Admiral to become US ambassador to South Korea

    Australia: Admiral to become US ambassador to South Korea

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 8:56 PM EDT2018-04-25 00:56:51 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 1:00 AM EDT2018-04-25 05:00:19 GMT
    The Australian foreign minister says Adm. Harry Harris will become the next U.S. ambassador to South Korea instead of Australia.Full Story >
    The Australian foreign minister says Adm. Harry Harris will become the next U.S. ambassador to South Korea instead of Australia.Full Story >

(RNN) – A British photographer is battling Wikimedia for the use of photos the open-source website says belong to the public domain of the monkey that took them.

Nature photographer David Slater told the British newspaper The Telegraph on Wednesday that during his 2011 trip to Indonesia, a crested black macaque stole his equipment and “took hundreds of selfies.”

Most of the photos, Slater said, are blurry, but two of them have made it to Wikimedia Commons. The web collection, owned by Wikimedia, holds 22,309,460 “freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute,” the website says.

The images have been posted across the internet since being posted to Wikimedia Commons. The site told Slater that because the macaca took the photos, they belong to the monkey and are otherwise public domain.

“If the monkey took it, it owns copyright, not me, that’s their basic argument. What they don’t realize is that it needs a court to decide that,” Slater told The Telegraph.

The photographer said use of the image has cost him a lot of money, and The Telegraph reports that Slater faces a 10,000 euro, or $13,383.95, legal bill to fight Wikimedia in court.

Slater petitioned Wikimedia, nominating the images to be deleted from its archives on Thursday. The reason, Slater said, is “Wikimedia is displaying it unlawfully.”

Wikimedia has classified the image as public domain, “because as the work of a non-human, it has no human author in whom copyright is vested.”

For its part, Wikimedia said in a transparency report Wednesday that no one, including the macaca, owns the image, thus its place in the public domain – and just because Slater owns the camera the photos were taken on doesn't mean the image is his.

The editors, throughout the conversation, are split on its decision, but the photos remain on Wikimedia Commons website.

One commenter wrote: “The monkey did not buy the camera and travel to a foreign country to take pictures. This isn't some funny random camera phone, Facebook photo someone found on the internet and appropriated. This guy takes photographs for a living. These photographs are his work.”

Follow me on Twitter @TanitaG_RNN.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • FOX19 Poll

  • Who owns the rights to the monkey selfie?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    No one - the monkey took them.
    22%
    46 votes
    The photographer - they are his images on his camera.
    78%
    163 votes
Powered by Frankly