Monkey Business! - David Wardell
The case revolves around 'selfies' taken by a troop of black macaque monkeys. Wikipedia has been showing the image (left) but refuses to pay royalties to Mr. Slater because the photograph was not taken by him - but by the monkey!
Understandably, David Slater contends that, as he owns the equipment, the camera was very carefullly set-up to enable the monkey to take the picture, and that he had control of the camera settings, the copyright should be his. There's also the not inconsiderable sum of some $30,000 in lost royalties at stake. Wikipedia disagrees and argues that as the photo was not taken by a human being there is no copyright to argue.
Ironically, the media interest means that royalties due are probably way in excess of original estimations. For my money, I think the monkey should get them. After all, who could not side with such a cheerful, cheeky chappy.
Better legal minds than mine can debate the issues. It made me muse about all of the pictures taken by timed, or self triggered, mechanisms - in these cases the photographer is also not present.
I've used the images here to illustrate the story. Now I'm not sure whether to expect a call from David Slater's (pictured below - he's the one in the middle) lawyers or to have a troop of black macaques, in the street outside, throwing their poo at my front door!