Monkeyright at

Go Back   DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media

The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
Let's talk about anything media related.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 7th, 2014, 04:38 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 4,094

As if copyright law wasn't difficult enough!

If you do an internet search, you'll find a ton of similar articles, but here are a couple links that will probably not expire too quickly:

Monkey selfie sparks intellectual property debate
Wikimedia Won't Take Down This Photo Because a Monkey Took It

The short version:

British pro photographer David Slater went into the jungle to photograph rare macaques, set up a camera and the macaques pressed the shutter button hundreds of times, resulting in a lot of useless pixels and a few money shots. (Hey, that's rather similar to my own photography style!)

Wikimedia refuses Mr. Slater's take-down requests, arguing that no copyright exists because a non-human pressed the shutter button. Wiki lists various sources, such as The Daily Mail and NBC News, so it is fairly clear that Mr. Slater himself did not offer up the photos but rather it seems they were poached from news web sites.

My FWIW take:

I side with Mr. Slater. He is the producer of the art and in my non-lawyerly opinion holds copyright. Still, I'm not entirely sure his fight with wiki is all that prudent...but then again, before reading about this I'd never heard of him. Now I have.
Pete Bauer
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. Albert Einstein
Trying to solve a DV mystery? You may find the answer behind the SEARCH function ... or be able to join a discussion already in progress!
Pete Bauer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 7th, 2014, 05:34 PM   #2
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
Re: Monkeyright

I think arguably mr slater is the copyright holder. This requires discernment which appears lacking at wikimedia. I hope mr slater is victorious.
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 8th, 2014, 04:42 AM   #3
Inner Circle
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,867
Re: Monkeyright

If all it takes is a monkey to press the shutter... would 10,000 monkeys win an Oscar?

Nah, I think there's a LOT more that goes into creating a photograph, both in preparation, and in post editing... "Post production" giving a particularly strong argument that the copyright belongs firmly with the "artist" who took the "spontaneous" image and created a salable "product" that arguably had substantial value before being "cut and pasted" into "public domain".

I've got a few images where the shutter was pressed unintentionally/accidently, the camera captured an artful image... does that mean that there is no "ownership" or copyright to the resulting image... doubtful, even if the image was "accidental" or "incidental". Once I find the image and do something with it to make it marketable as "art", copyright would vest with me...

This has the interesting aspect of who would own the images if you ask someone to take a picture "for you" with your camera, and they happened somehow to capture something worthy of interest (like Bigfoot photo bombing you or something)... somehow I can't see how copyright can be created "incidentally" just because a mechanical act of pressing a button takes place, but I suppose this will eventually have to be decided by Courts now that everyone (and their monkey friends!) has a imaging device so easily available!

Pass the bananas, this should be interesting to watch "develop"!
Dave Blackhurst is offline   Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

(800) 223-2500
New York, NY

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Texas Media Systems
(512) 440-1400
Austin, TX

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

(800) 323-2325
Mineola, NY

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:11 AM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2018 The Digital Video Information Network