#Melfie: If a Monkey Takes a Selfie, Who Owns It?

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

INDONESIA — If a monkey takes a selfie in a forest and only the camera is around to see it, who gets the copyright?

Sounds like the opening line to a joke. But it’s no monkey business for British photographer David Slater after a monkey took a selfie with his camera!

Hashtag #Melfie!

In 2011, Slater took a trip to Indonesia to spend three days following animals in their natural habitat. That’s when a crested black macaque wandered up to his camera, stared into the lens and took his very own #melfie!

But this is where the melfie becomes a monkey on Slater’s back because the picture that could’ve been this photog’s goldmine has landed on sites like Wikipedia — for free!

Slater’s tried for three years to get it down. But Wiki says the monkey took the picture, so the ape owns it.

But Slater says it’s his because it’s his camera and the monkey didn’t intentionally snap the melfie.

You still with me? Ok.

So, should monkeys have the same rights as we do? Or should copyright laws only protect people?

We’re just glad we’re not in the middle of this melfie mess!

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.