The US Copyright Office has issued a report stating that it will not register works produced by “nature, animals, or plants,” effectively undermining photographer David Slater’s claim that he owns copyright to a selfie made by a monkey with one of his cameras, arstechnica.com reports.
The photo in question was shot by a monkey that ran off with one of Slater’s cameras while he was on a shoot in Indonesia. The photo went viral in 2011.
A dispute over copyright to the photo erupted earlier this month when Wikimedia Commons, a collection of 22 million public domain images, posted the image without Slater’s permission. Wikimedia indicated in caption information with the photo that the author of a photo owns copyright, not the camera owner, and that only people can claim copyright ownership. Therefore, the monkey selfie was ineligible for copyright–and in the public domain.
Slater had been preparing to sue Wikimedia Commons, according to a report earlier this month in The Telegraph. According to arstechnica.com, Slater may be able to claim intellectual property rights under a provision of UK law, though that provision has never been tested in court.
What photographers need to know about changes in copyright registration. More ›
Photographer Terry Richardson is under investigation by the New York City police department, following accusations of sexual assault by two former models, according to the New York Daily News. Through his attorneys, Richardson has denied the allegations. Caron Bernstein, a former Ford model, told the Daily News last month that Richardson sexually assaulted her at... More ›
Editor’s note: In our original version of this story, we reported that Steidl was ordered to pay damages for missing prints belonging to photographer Lawrence Schwarzwald. Attorneys for Steidl say the court did not order payment for damages, “but only to return those proof prints” to Schwarzwald. A German court has ordered the book publisher... More ›