Creative Sparks: Works of Nature, Selection, and the Human Author

Burstyn, Neal F.

It is now common knowledge that if you put a bunch of monkeys in a room with a typewriter, they will eventually reproduce the works of Shakespeare. But according to the United States Copyright Office, if you give that same group of monkeys a camera, you do not get copyright on any pictures they may happen to take. in 2011, British wildlife photographer David Slater was in Indonesia when a group of crested black macaques began playing with his camera equipment and snapped some pictures, one of which went viral and proved temporarily profitable for Slater.


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Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts

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November 21, 2016