The U.S Copyright Office has settled an amusing dispute between photographer David Slater and Wikipedia regarding rights over a photograph taken by a monkey. While trying to click the perfect ‘monkey picture’ on his photography expedition in Indonesia, a Macaque monkey grabbed David Slater’s camera, and accidentally ended up taking a bunch of selfies of itself. These selfie photographs were uploaded by Wikipedia’s editors on the Wikipedia website. The photographer was not amused. Wikipedia claimed that the photograph was in the public domain because, under US law, animals can't own copyrights. However, Slater contended that the photograph existed only because of his creativity and his equipment; hence he was the rightful owner of the copyright in the photograph.

Agreeing with Wikipedia’s stand in the matter, the US Copyright Office relied on the newly-updated US copyright manual which states that a photo taken by an animal cannot be copyrighted at all and said that no one owned the copyright in the photograph and the photograph therefore was in the public domain.