Smile! Wikimedia denies photographer’s request, says monkey ‘owns’ jungle selfies

Posted at 4:45 PM, Aug 06, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-06 16:45:44-04

LONDON — The crested black macaque who snapped the photos, not the photographer whose camera he stole, is the owner of the now famous viral pictures that can be seen on website around the world, website Wikimedia ruled, according to a report in the Telegraph.

British photographer David Slater asked the website to remove the photos from its collection of royalty-free images section because it was costing him money.

“For every 10,000 images I take, one makes money that keeps me going. And that was one of those images. It was like a year of work, really,” he told the Telegraph.

Editors at Wikimedia refused his request because they found the animal, not the man, snapped the pictures. Wikimedia listed the author as “the monkey on the photo.”

The pictures were taken in 2011 when Slater was in Indonesia. He said one of the crested black macaques took his camera and started taking the photos.

“He must have taken hundreds of pictures by the time I got my camera back, but not very many were in focus. He obviously hadn’t worked that out yet,” he told the Telegraph.

Slater said he planned to fight the issue in court.