Photography, Animals and Ownership Rights

Photography, Animals and Ownership Rights

A monkey looks into the lens of an unattended camera, shoots a selfie and starts a legal battle. At the heart of it is whether non-humans have ownership rights to a creative product. The lawsuit between the camera’s owner and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was novel and important, but recently resolved out of court so there is no legal determination on the issue. However, some level of ownership by non-humans has been acknowledged in the settlement and United States copyright law grants ownership rights to the person who took the image. Read more about this unusual copyright issue in this New York Times story.