No, the monkey doesn’t hold the copyright on this selfie — but neither does the camera’s owner


The twists and turns of copyright law are arcane at the best of times, especially when digital images are involved, but it’s not often that the debate over ownership rights turns to whether a crested black Macaque monkey from Indonesia can own the copyright to a photo he took of himself. But that’s exactly what was triggered by a recent article in The Telegraph, in which the camera’s owner — wildlife photographer David Slater — claims that his request to have it removed from the open-source Wikimedia Commons library was denied because Wikimedia’s editors believe that the monkey holds the copyright to the photo.

That’s not strictly true, however. In fact, the editors at Wikimedia (which manages the library of more than 22 million images and videos associated with the open-source encyclopedia) rejected the photographer’s demands because they believe that no one holds the copyright. A monkey can’t hold…

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