Editors Note: You may have seen references to the “Monkey Selfie” and Wikimedia’s claim that there can be no copyright on the photo. Wikimedia claims it can use the photo without any licensing because it was the monkey that took the photo. Photographer David Slater supplied the equipment the monkey used and made the image available to the world. (The monkey hasn’t figured out how to use the Internet yet.) Slater is represented by Danita Delimont Stock Photography, an stock agency that specializes in Worldwide Travel, Nature and Culture images. Danita has offered our readers insights into this copyright debate.
We represent many dedicated nature and wildlife photographers who traverse the globe in pursuit of extraordinary images that document our world and the species within it. David is one of them. They schlep their gear all over the planet, sleep in unnatural settings, always looking for that special light just at the right time, often positioned in remote locations, sitting and waiting for the animals to appear, in order to document their behavior in whatever season it is. It's not a comfortable life and nobody's getting rich, that's for sure! Still they do this because they have a passion that cannot be quenched until they've taken the risks and gotten the shots.
David Slater is a serious wildlife photographer and he spent considerable time in the field with a local guide tracking the location of this troop of Crested Black Macaque monkeys in the rainforests of Sulawesi, Indonesia. He has shared his story of how this photo came to be and we thought you might enjoy reading about it. Click Here to Read Story
I'm bringing this to your attention for several reasons. Copyright these days is a very serious issue and using someone's photo without licensing it properly is a detriment to our entire industry. As industry professionals, we need to support a photographer's copyright of an image and the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP
) is doing just that, in their response to Wikimedia, who is claiming that the image is available to all in the Public Domain. Click to to Read Response Letter from iLCP
Lastly, David has partnered with a print/canvas company, Picanova
, that is giving away canvas framed prints of the Monkey Selfie. They are donating to the Macaque preservation fund in this Indonesian location for every print they offer. If you want your own print, here's your chance:
Press Release with link to free print here