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Monkey selfie sparks intellectual property battle

Texas A&M University intellectual property law professor Megan Carpenter, director of the Center for Law and Intellectual Property at A&M’s law school in Fort Worth, said a 2,100-page report released by the United States Copyright Office which discusses the ownership of a photo taken by an animal, could greatly impact business, literature, and art, the Dallas Business Journal reported on August 24.

A wildlife photographer published a photo of a monkey who took a picture of itself. The photographer is asking for royalties for every download of the photograph, but Wikimedia claims the photo is in the public domain and should be available for free download, primarily because it was the monkey who took the picture.

In a video posted on her website the same day the institute issued its report, Carpenter said a photographer claiming that he owns the picture a monkey took of itself that was posted into Wikimedia Commons and downloaded thousands of times will find it hard to win his case.

The attorneys at Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., understand the nuances of intellectual property law. If you are seeking legal counsel for a related issue, our legal team may advocate for your interests. Call our offices in the Dallas Fort Worth area at (214) 824-1414 today to discuss your case.