Photographic monkey business: Who’s the artist?

Wacky Web Week

Among the most irksome challenges for successful photographers is protecting their copyrighted work. In a recent case, a photographer’s apparent rival for his copyright happens to be an enterprising — and extremely photogenic — crested black macaque living on an Indonesian island. British nature photographer David Slater briefly lost custody of his camera to the animal, who took hundreds of photos — some of them very good — before the photographer retrieved his camera.

The monkey’s selfie has gone viral. But Wikipedia refuses to take down the macaque’s photo from its site at Slater’s request. In a sort of Catch 22, Wikipedia claims the photo in question is in the public domain. Apparently, only the maker of an image — in this case, that’s technically the monkey — can hold the copyright. But copyright holders can only be human. A lawsuit over lost rights and revenue seems to be in the works.

In any event, the monkey’s selfies are fabulous. We should all look so good. Click below or go to the original YouTube video.

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