Photographer David Slater Explains Why He’s Going After Wikimedia Over Monkey Selfie

David Slater, the photographer who is currently embroiled in an argument (and quite possibly, soon to be embroiled in a lawsuit) with Wikimedia over the famous ‘monkey selfie’ images, recently spoke to ITN to clarify his position on the whole ‘who owns the copyright’ argument.

After receiving “a lot of free advice,” it looks like he’s leaning more and more towards taking Wikimedia to court over the controversy.

The original monkey selfies captured by... the monkey?
The original monkey selfies captured by… the monkey?

The argument is that the idea that the monkey pressed the shutter, so Slater — who claims in the video that he set up the camera and remote shutter release with this exact outcome in mind — doesn’t own the copyright hasn’t been tested in court, and it’s not Wikimedia’s place to decide what is and is not legal in this particular instance.

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“They’re guessing, and they are ruining my income stream,” he says in the video. “They are acting as judge and jury in a law case and they are gonna be in big trouble if a judge eventually rules in my favor.”

His hope, he explains, is that this case will help photographers who are having a harder and harder time making a living. The goal is to change copyright law forever because, as he puts it, the profession of wildlife photographer is becoming “almost unsustainable”… and that’s a reality he would rather avoid.

(via ISO 1200)