There was recently a very public case “monkey business” between wikimedia/Slater. In short, a monkey had taken a selfie with Slater´s camera. The photo was posted in wikimedia under public domain. Slater considered that he owned the copyrights to the photo. You can read a liitle bit more about the case in here:  http://mashable.com/2014/08/21/no-copyright-for-monkey-god-photos/

In the meantime, in August U.S. Copyright Office launched the ”

Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition”

http://copyright.gov/comp3/

where this is explicitly defined, including even if you are the owner, it is not considered a copyright.

306 The Human Authorship Requirement
The U.S. Copyright Office will register an original work of authorship, provided that the
work was created by a human being.
The copyright law only protects “the fruits of intellectual labor” that “are founded in the
creative powers of the mind.” Trade-Mark Cases, 100 U.S. 82, 94 (1879). Because
copyright law is limited to “original intellectual conceptions of the author,” the Office
will refuse to register a claim if it determines that a human being did not create the
work. Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony, 111 U.S. 53, 58 (1884).
The Office will not register works produced by nature, animals, or plants. Likewise, the
Office cannot register a work purportedly created by divine or supernatural beings,
although the Office may register a work where the application or the deposit copy(ies)
state that the work was inspired by a divine spirit.
Examples:
• A photograph taken by a monkey.
• A mural painted by an elephant.
• A claim based on the appearance of actual animal skin.
• A claim based on driftwood that has been shaped and smoothed by
the ocean.”

Therefore, only human beings can claim authorship of works. This means that monkeys selfies are…public domain.

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