EXCLUSIVE: Itu2019s a story of a crested black macaque monkey, a photographer, and a bitter fight over who owns the copyright to a u2018selfieu2019 of the endangered primate. Now the photographer and the species are both set to benefit financially, it seems.
How AP reported the controversy last week
Photographer David Slater, who says he lost thousands after Wikipedia allowed free access to the monkey photo, is set to earn money from the image that will also go towards conservation of the animal.
Amateur Photographer has learned that the Gloucestershire photographer has struck a deal with Picanova, a German printing company that plans to give away a canvas print of the monkey, worth £27.40, to anyone visiting its website.
Slater says a ‘significant percentage’ of what
he receives from Picanova will go towards the animal’s conservation.
Picanova has pledged to donate £1 to a Sulawesi black macaques conservation project for every print ordered.
Picanova benefits by increasing its potential customer base through visits to the site.
The money will go to Selamatkan Yaki (Indonesian for ‘Save the Sulawesi crested black macaques’), according to Picanova.
Meanwhile, Slater continues to be embroiled in a copyright battle with Wikipedia.
‘We are trying to support what [Slater] is trying to do,’ said Phil Norris, head of international sales at Picanova.
Norris said Picanova wants to ‘show solidarity with photographers around the world’ over the issue, which may end up in court.
‘As a canvas print company, we work with thousands of photographers and purchase licensed photographs for our business.
‘Therefore, this legal spat completely resonates with us. We appreciate how far-reaching the ripples of this legal battle will be, as well as the effect on the livelihoods of our friends in the photography community.’
Last week Slater said he had lost thousands of pounds in potential sales of the image, as a direct result of Wikipedia’s actions, adding that it was ‘hard to put a figure on’.
In the year after the image was publicised, in 2011, Slater says he earned £1,000 from the agency that ran the story, and £1,000 through print sales.
‘In the past two years I’ve made about £50. Nobody is interested because it is free…’ he told AP.
He said the fees merely covered his travel costs to Sulawesi, the island in Indonesia where the photo had been taken several years earlier.
The photographer is still at loggerheads with Wikipedia over the image, the rights to which caused a global media sensation last week.
Slater said he plans to speak to US lawyers today, before liaising with UK solicitors about his ongoing copyright dispute with Wikipedia.
‘I am quite confident that this case will be in court very shortly,’ he claimed.
Last week, Wikipedia maintained its stance that the image is copyright free, because a ‘non-human’ fired the shutter.
Today, Katherine Maher, chief communications officer at the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia, said she was not aware of any further updates.
Details of how people can obtain the monkey canvas print are due to appear on the Picanova website shortly.
Customers will still have to pay shipping costs for the canvas print, which measures 30x20cm.
To order, they have to enter the code ‘MONKEYSELFIE’