This is an interesting article about copyright and the public domain.
The issue in summary–a crested black macaque came across David Slater’s photography equipment in the field and, while examining his reflection in the lens, snapped some pictures of himself. Wikipedia placed these photographs online in one of their entries.
David Slater requested the pictures be removed from Wikipedia. He claims the pictures belong to him because they were taken with his camera equipment.
The Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia, refuses to remove the pictures because it is the work of a non-human animal and therefore has no human author to claim copyright.
I do find this to be a strange argument on the part of Wikipedia. If Slater holds the copyrights to these images, they should not be used without his permission. Whether he actually snapped the picture or not, the copyright laws protect the owner of the images. The owner does not need to be the author.
What do you think about these issues? Let me know in the comments below.
Categories: On Writing