Earlier this month I lost much sleep over the issue of who owns the copyright to the photo that a monkey took of herself. If you didn’t click the link, the story is that a photographer handed his camera to a bunch of monkeys until one of them ended up taking a selfie. When the photographer released the photo on the web, some sites refused to remove copies of it because they claimed the monkey owned the copyright, not the photographer.
Well it didn’t take long for the U.S. Copyright Office to come down with a ruling on the monkey selfie case, and it didn’t go well for the photographer. Of course if they monkey was hoping to sell copies of the photo and make a ton of money off it, she’s out of luck, too.
The 1,200 page set of copyright guidelines states that animals and freaks of nature cannot own a copyright, but a human being MUST BE THE AUTHOR of the item in question. So basically, the photographer and the monkey are both out of luck here. The photo is essentially in the public domain.
So there you have it. The monkey doesn’t own the copyright, and the photographer is going ape shit!