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Copyright row erupts over monkey 'selfie'

A monkey selfie has given rise to a strange battle between man, media and monkey over the alleged rights on one of its kind photographs.

The photographs have been taken on the camera of photographer David Slater, which was hijacked by a snap-happy crested black macaque. The incident happened when he was photographing the endangered primates on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi in 2011.

The reason for the battle of sorts is that a selection of these selfies in which the monkey showed a range of emotions from gleeful to coy is made available on the Wikimedia Commons site, which has a collection images and video files which are free to download. However, the photographer claims his copyright over the images.

According to a report in The Daily Mail, Slater is now taking legal action against Wikimedia, Wikipedia's owner, for using the photo without his permission. He claims that since he set up the shot in which the image was taken, he is the one behind all components in the image. However, Wikimedia has refused to backdown, saying the photo was taken by a non-human animal and therefore not subject to copyright.

Slater commented that Wikimedia is unjustified in saying that the monkey owns the copyright because he pressed the trigger and took the photo. He said this has cost him "tens of thousands of pounds" in potential revenue.