When British photographer David Slater handed over his camera to a crested black macaque in 2011, he probably didn’t think he’d be on the receiving end of a lawsuit from the monkey.
The macaque took two ‘selfies’ with Slater’s camera after he spent a long time teaching them to be interested enough in his equipment to take pictures of themselves.
The images went viral and regularly appear on social media, in blog posts, and memes.
However, as fun as the photos are, they have more or less ruined Slater’s life. He is now basically broke after being dragged through the courts for more than five years.
Where the story began
The legal dispute began in 2012 when Wikimedia Commons uploaded Slater’s photos as royalty free images. Slater requested the website either pay for the photos or remove them. Wikimedia Commons refused. The site said Slater owned no copyright due to the monkey pressing the shutter itself.
Slater told BBC News in 2014 that he lost out on a huge amount of revenue on the photo as a result.
“I made £2,000 [for that picture] in the first year after it was taken,” he said. “After it went on Wikipedia all interest in buying it went. It’s hard to put a figure on it but I reckon I’ve lost £10,000 or more in income. It’s killing my business.”
To make matters worse, animal rights activists Peta also got involved in 2015, and said all proceeds from the photos should benefit the monkey. A court in San Francisco disagreed in 2016, and ruled in Slater’s favour that copyright protection could not be applied to the animal.
However, this meant that there was legally no copyright licence on the photographs at all, …read more
Source:: Business Insider