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If a monkey takes a selfie, who owns the image?

Thursday - 8/7/2014, 11:26am  ET

CATERS_MONKEY_SNAPPER_03.jpg
The photographer behind the famous monkey selfie picture is threatening to take legal action against Wikimedia after they refused to remove his picture because ‘the monkey took it'. David Slater, from Coleford, Gloucestershire, was taking photos of macaques on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi in 2011 when the animals began to investigate his equipment. A black crested macaque appeared to be checking out its appearance in the lens and it wasn't long before it hijacked the camera and began snapping away. (Caters News Agency)

(Editor's Note: WTOP chose to purchase the right to use the photo taken by photographer David Slater.)

WASHINGTON -- A monkey took a selfie three years ago and the Internet could barely contain itself.

Now, the ownership of said selfie is the topic of a heated battle between British photographer David Slater and Wikimedia Commons, the Washington Post reports.

Slater claims he owns the picture because the black macaque snapped its own photo while curiously inspecting Slater's equipment during a shoot in Indonesia in 2011.

But Wikimedia insists the image is fair game because no one technically owns the copyright. A human did not take the photo, a monkey did.

Slater says that is just bananas. He asked the company to remove the image in 2012, but Wikimedia refused.

"Monkeys don't own copyrights," Wikimedia Foundation's Chief Communications Officer Katherine Maher told the Post.

"What we found is that U.S. copyright law says that works that originate from a non-human source can't claim copyright."

And tell us what you think: Does the monkey own the selfie?

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