Feeds

US Copyright Office rules that monkeys CAN'T claim copyright over their selfies

Photographer can't cash in on primate pics

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The US Copyright Office has refused to register the copyright of the infamous selfie taken by a monkey.

The Office said in its latest copyright law compendium (PDF) that images taken by animals, including the 2011 primate self-shot, could not be registered for copyright by a human.

Monkey Selfie

"The Office will not register works produced by nature, animals, or plants," the US copyright authority said.

"Likewise, the Office cannot register a work purportedly created by divine or supernatural beings, although the Office may register a work where the application or the deposit copy(ies) state that the work was inspired by a divine spirit."

The document specifically cites the monkey picture which has been the source of a legal battle between the Wikimedia Foundation and a British photographer. Nature photographer David Slater said that the image was taken in 2011 when a mischievous macaque swiped his camera and was found to have pressed the shutter button a number of times.

The image would later become an internet hit and was picked up by Wikipedia, only to touch off a legal battle over whether Slater owned the rights to the image (and the royalties which come with it).

Now, according to the Copyright Office, the matter is formally settled. The Office clearly says that unless a human took the image, it cannot be registered and thus Slater cannot claim US copyright on it. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.