Charlie wrote in post #17113039
I was reading another article that stated there was a DCMA takedown request issued on wikimedia in which they did take down the image, then eventually put it up again:http://www.newsweek.com …y-selfie-copyright-265961
so the copyright office did at one point believe the item was copyrighted to mr stater.
as a side, note, copyright law is completely out of bounds not allowing this man to copyright his work. Setting up camera settings, positioning of the camera, and intent of his work IS the creative process.
OK, that article puts a different complexion on things. I had only seen the original claim that the monkey stole the camera, ran off and took hundreds of images. That scenario definitely rules out Slater as holding copyright as you need to be the author of the work, which needs to be a result of your labour, skill and judgement. The original claim clearly states that Slater did not use his labour, skill and judgement to produce the work, it was created completely accidentally by the macaque after it stole the camera. Clear case of no copyright.
However, the article you quoted makes a different claim. It states that Slater was in control of the camera the whole time, he chose the settings, set the camera up pointing at a nice background etc., etc. Then encouraged the macaques to come up and play with the camera, with the intent of getting them to take their own picture. This changes everything, as he now has creative input into the work and therefore can be regarded as the author and be assigned copyright as normal.
So, it hinges now on which claim is actually correct. Is the original claim of the stolen camera the correct one, and the claim that the camera was under his control the whole time a later fabrication to allow him to claim copyright? Or is that article correct and the original claim was false, made by his agent in order to generate more interest? If so, then Slater needs to get himself a new agent as that one is an idiot. The agent should understand copyright, it is part of their job. As such, they should have been aware that making that statement would remove the copyright, as Slater would not have been the author.
The conflicting stories, from the Slater camp, have put the copyright issue in a really tricky place. Wikimedia can support their claim for it being in the public domain, by quoting the original claim made by Slater / Slater's agent that the monkey ran off with a camera and so Slater had no input into the result. They can claim that the tripod version of events was only concocted after Slater was trying to fight for copyright. That means it will probably need to be sorted out in court and it will be up to Slater to convince a judge that the later version is correct. Personally I would believe it to be true, as monkeys are not usually that good a photographer. Mikki's shots of Moscow are very poor in comparison and he had, supposedly, been specially trained to handle cameras.