Wikimedia: Monkey Selfie Copyright Would Be Monkey’s

Wednesday 6 August 2014, 2:51 pm   ////  

A self-portrait taken by a monkey is at issue in a copyright dispute. Wikimedia claims that it would belong to the monkey, if non-human animals could hold copyrights, and because they can’t, it’s in the public domain. The owner of the camera has another idea. Here’s The Telegraph on the subject. Also, the Wikipedia page where the photo appears, and the full-size photo with Wikimedia’s copyright position available via the media viewer.

Public domain (although this status is contested). Photo taken by the pictured monkey.

Listed by the hosting site as public domain (although this status is contested). Photo taken by the pictured monkey.

Now, I know this isn’t an urban selfie, but I would love to see it and many other non-human selfies incorporated into the Selficity project. We might find interesting correlations regarding the angle and variation in head tilt, for instance. And of course it would be provocative to just know which of the five cities shoots selfies in a way that is most similar to monkeys.


  1. The photographer had already sold the image to newspapers etc. the first time around: now it’s out there in the world it’s a bit excessive to expect the state to enforce continued payment to him for the image.

    Comment by Joey — 2014-08-08 @ 5:58 am
  2. The monkey selfie belongs to us all! According to the US Copyright Office, it’s public domain:

    Comment by Nick Montfort — 2014-08-23 @ 11:48 am

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