Wikimedia Commons and photographer David Slater appear to be headed for court over who owns the rights to a selfie shot by a macaque monkey that grabbed Slater’s camera. The photo went viral last week.
The Telegraph now reports that Wikimedia, a collection of 22 million public domain images, has refused Slater’s demand to remove the photo from its web site. Slater is preparing to sue, the newspaper says.
Wikimedia’s legal defense, effectively outlined in the caption it reportedly posted with the photo, is that the author of a photo owns copyright, not the camera owner; that only people can own copyright, and monkeys aren’t people; therefore, the photo in question is ineligible for copyright by anyone, so it’s in the public domain.
This is the kind of copyright case we were never expecting to see. But now we’re wondering: if corporations have the rights of persons, why not monkeys? Are there any armchair attorneys out there who want to make a copyright argument on the monkey’s behalf?
A court in South Africa has convicted photographer Zwelethu Mthethwa of the 2013 murder of Nokuphila Kumalo, 23, a sex worker, in a suburb of Cape Town, several South African newspapers have reported. Bail for Mthethwa, a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology who is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery, was revoked while he... More ›
A French court has ordered appropriation artist Jeff Koons and contemporary art museum Centre Pompidou to pay €40,000 (about $46,000 US) for infringing the copyright of a photograph by the late French photographer Jean-François Bauret. The court decision was reported by Radio France Internationale (RFI). Bauret’s family sued Koons over a 1988 sculpture (shown at... More ›
Photographer Mannie Garcia has won $45,000 to settle a claim against police in Montgomery County, Maryland for violation of his First Amendment rights in 2011. The claim stemmed from Garcia’s wrongful arrest for video recording and photographing the arrest of two other men outside a restaurant in Wheaton, Maryland. The settlement came just days before... More ›