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Monkey selfies: Can a macaque own intellectual property?

Monkey selfies have sparked a copyright dispute between Wikipedia and a British photographer. Wikipedia has rejected the photographer's request to take down the monkey selfies on copyright grounds.

Wikimedia Commons/Screenshot
A screenshot of the monkey selfie as posted on Wikimedia Commons.

A series of "selfies" taken by Indonesian monkeys has sparked a copyright argument between a British photographer and Wikipedia.

Photographer David Slater had asked for the portraits of crested black macaque monkeys taken in 2011 to be removed from the website, arguing that he owns the copyright to the images.

Slater told the BBC that although the monkeys pressed the button, he had set the self-portraits up by framing them and setting the camera on a tripod.

But Wikimedia Foundation, the group behind the free information-sharing site, rejected Slater's request because he didn't take the photos. It said Thursday no one owned the copyright to the images, because under U.S. law, non-humans — the monkeys in this case — couldn't have copyright.

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