A Monkey, a Photographer and a Lawyer Walk Into the Forest…

…stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

As a blogger who republishes photographs taken by other travelers, I am keenly interested in the legal implications surrounding this particular issue.

And so, as you might imagine, when faced with the following thread title on the TravelBlog forums I couldn’t help but to click in to see what this was all about:

“If a monkey grabs a camera, who owns the resulting photos?”

The thread consists only of one post by Roosta … not exactly a lively discussion. But Roosta provides a link to a Washington Post article that tells a remarkable tale of a monkey selfie that has caused quite a row.

The commenters on the Washington Post article are divided as to whom, if anyone, should own the copyright to these monkey selfie photos.

Out of fairness and respect to David Slater, whose camera was used to snap the photos and who obviously would prefer they not be republished, and because I have no interest in becoming embroiled in this legal issue, I won’t publish them here. But you can see all of the amazing photos on Mr. Slater’s website.

What do you think? Does Mr. Slater own the photos, or is a photo taken by an animal public domain?

Oh, that is so going on my facebook!” by Chantal Lyons. CC BY-ND 2.0.

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