Monkey Selfies can not be copyrighted

by JamesNYCAugust 22. 2014 06:10

The verdict is in: monkey selfies cannot be copyrighted.

A public draft of a U.S. Copyright Office report, released Tuesday, said it will register only works created by human beings.

Hidden among the document's 1,222 pages is article 306, which covers The Human Authorship Requirement: "The U.S. Copyright Office will register an original work of authorship, provided that the work was created by a human being," the record said. "The Office will not register works produced by nature, animals, or plants."

The first, very specific, example: a photograph taken by a monkey. It turns out a mural painted by an elephant doesn't count, either.

British nature photographer David Slater spent three days in the Indonesian wilderness in 2011, shadowing a pack of macaque monkeys, becoming a part of their tribe. Once comfortable with each other, the photographer set his camera on a tripod, framed the shot, and left the shutter button for a female monkey to operate.

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