Monkey sort of wins court case

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6th Aug 2014
Written by: Pete Churchill

Man Vs monkey in copyright row

While on an intrepid, photographic holiday in Indonesia back in 2011, David Slater, a professional photographer, set up his camera hoping to capture some images of crested black macaques.

Now, depending on how you look at it, he got exactly what he wanted; the macaques were intrigued by his kit and proceeded to investigate with the usual primate curiosity. Pretty soon they’d worked out where the shutter was, and after initially being scared off by the shutter sound one of the monkeys ended up taking hundreds of selfies.

Years later and Wikipedia is still using the images and listing them under a Creative Commons license (which essentially means they have no copyright), much to Mr. Slater’s disgust and have repeatedly ignored his requests that they desist in using his images without his permission. He’s spent over $17,000 in trying to get the images taken down, so you’d hope they have a good reason for ignoring him.

Their reasoning? In their eyes and to some extent the law’s eyes, the photos actually belong to the monkey that pressed the shutter button. It’s not been tested in a court yet, but we’re sure it’ll be a huge relief to Mr Slater to get that um… monkey off his back and have the decision finalised in a court of law.

Details of the monkey’s photography career have not been made public, but we wish him or her a long and fruitful one after such a high profile start.


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