The Monkey Selfie: Copyright Lessons for Originality in Photographs and Internet Jurisdiction
The monkey selfie: copyright lessons for originality in photographs and internet jurisdiction. 5:1 Internet Policy Review (2016). DOI: 10.14763/2016.1.398
12 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2016
Date Written: March 21, 2016
In 2011, a macaque monkey used a camera belonging to British photographer David Slater in Indonesia to take a self-portrait. The selfie picture became famous worldwide after it was published in the British media. In 2014 Slater sent a removal request to Wikimedia Commons, which indicated that the picture was in the public domain because it had been taken by the monkey and animals cannot own copyright works. While most of the legal analysis so far has been centred around US law, this article takes a completely different approach. Re-assessing jurisdictional issues, I examine the case from a UK and European perspective. The monkey selfie is of importance to internet policy: it has a lot to teach us about online jurisdiction. Under current originality rules, David Slater has a good copyright claim for ownership of the picture.
Keywords: copyright, jurisdiction, monkey, selfie
JEL Classification: O34, K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation