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Monkeys Cannot Own Copyright To Their Selfies

 
Monkeys Cannot Own Copyright To Their Selfies
Posted August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:10am by Jennifer Falk

If your pet ever takes a selfie, you might be interested to know that due to an updated copyright law, animals cannot own rights to their artwork.

The U.S. Copyright Office updated their law regarding non-human artists, stating that these beings cannot own copyright to photographs, text, or art.

The update to the law was because of a selfie that an Indonesian monkey took on wildlife photographer David Slater's camera. After this photo was posted to Wikimedia commons, Slater wanted rights to the photo since it was on his camera. Wikimedia refused to take the selfie down because the monkey took the photo and not Slater himself, and monkeys cannot claim ownership of their work.

The new copyright law (see page 54 of the law) states that the Copyright Office will not recognize "works produced by nature, animals, or plants," as copyrightable materials. The law also lists examples, including "a photograph taken by a monkey, a mural painted by an elephant, a claim based on driftwood that has been shaped or smoothed by the ocean," in addition to works done by machinery.

We're glad the monkey selfie is not copyrightable, so we can share it easily with you all! We think she has a priceless, contagious smile that should be shared.

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Source: PBS

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