The US organization responsible for Wikipedia is in news following some interesting developments. This came about once Wikimedia turned down the request of a photographer, David Slater to take down an image that was published without seeking his permission. The reasons behind the refusal are what make this interesting; the photographer cannot press the claim since a monkey took the snapshot which entitles him to the copyrights. Slater was filming in Indonesia back in 2011, trying to capture a photo of a black macaque. One of those species turned up only to snatch his camera and take some selfies.
How well did it perform, some of you must be wondering. Well, most of the images taken were blurred and pointed right at the grass. However, a female macaque was also able to take some fantastic selfies sporting a grin on its face. Lucky for Slater, these fifteen minutes of macaque facetime earned him recognition the world over. One big problem arose, though. Once this performance made it to the Internet, a tussle between Wikimedia and Slater commenced when it became part of Wikimedia Commons. Slater claimed that free publishing of the images would adversely affect his income but transparency report from Wikimedia revealed that the monkey owns the image; not Slater.
Slater will now have to defend his case in court that will set him back by an estimated 10,000 GBP. He believes that it’s for the court to decide who owns what. Moreover, his stance on the matter is that the monkey may have pressed that button but Slater was the one who set it up. It’s worth mentioning that the image was removed once he objected before but various editors continued to upload it time and time again. It’s understandable that Slater must also be furious over being deprived of the credit given that he spent a hefty 2000 GBP on the trip. Wikimedia representatives are adamant in their report that non-human authors enjoy no right to copyrights of photographs according to the US law. It seems like this is heading to court, afterall.