You leave your camera in the woods with the intention of wireless remote shooting, a child comes along and moves your camera and in the process pushes the shutter button, do you own the copyright? No you do not.
Take the last scenario and exchange a child for a monkey, you still don't own the copyright, you did not frame or take the photo. …...
For the successful photos in question the camera never left Slater's physical control.
You obviously didn't read it. It says right in the blog that it absolutely left his control.
So I put my camera on a tripod with a very wide angle lens, settings configured such as predictive autofocus, motorwind, even a flashgun, to give me a chance of a facial close up if they were to approach again for a play. I duly moved away and bingo, they moved in, fingering the toy, pressing the buttons and fingering the lens
- He put it on a tripod
- He set it to auto
- He moved away
That's out of his control.
You gonna share the fried crow with PBD? Maybe you prefer yours deep fried.
"......I wanted to keep my new found friends happy and with me. I now wanted to get right in their faces with a wide angle lens, but that was proving too difficult as they were nervous of something - I couldn't tell what. So I put my camera on a tripod with a very wide angle lens, settings configured such as predictive autofocus, motorwind, even a flashgun, to give me a chance of a facial close up if they were to approach again for a play. I duly moved away and bingo, they moved in, fingering the toy, pressing the buttons and fingering the lens. I was then to witness one of the funniest things ever as they grinned, grimaced and bared teeth at themselves in the reflection of the large glassy lens. Was this what they where afraid of earlier? Perhaps also the sight of the shutter planes moving within the lens also amused or scared them? They played with the camera until of course some images were inevitably taken! I had one hand on the tripod when this was going on, ..."
Is that the best you can do? I read that, but how many photographer's assistants have had "one hand on the tripod" to steady it, and there's no way you'd give them copyright. That's an absurdly weak claim on an image. If he had had one hand on the tripod and one on a remote shutter release that would do it. But the monkeys framed the shot when they "grinned, grimaced and bared teeth at themselves in the reflection of the large glassy lens." Then "They played with the camera until of course some images were inevitably taken."
Nope, you are still badly mistaken. Slater doesn't own the shot: it's either nobody, or it's the Indonesian government.
I cannot quote the law here, as it is not my area of expertise. However, common sense says if a person set up an equipment in order to get a certain type of results, gets those results, and puts in the efforts to publish those results- they should be the logical recipient of the credits.
Science is my domain- so let's think that way. Let's say a primate researcher sets up his equipment in a certain way to perform a certain experiment- let's say macaques shooting themselves with a camera, to study social behavior. The macaques do approach the camera, which has been set up to allow the most likelihood of an acceptable picture being taken (wide angle lens, predictive focus- which I am sure very few wildlife photographers use otherwise), and by random chance some good shots are taken. The scientist duly collects the data and processes the images.
Now, would you say the data and the images are in the public domain so anyone can use the data without citing or permission, or even publish the results in a paper.
To me, what matters in intent (which the photographer certainly had as he wanted the macaques to trigger their own images as they weren't approaching the camera otherwise) and effort (going to the location, making friends with the animals, having the insight of setting up the camera the way he did, collecting and processing the images, sharing them on his blog). He also didn't lie about how the images were generated (although the images might have been less famous if they were shot using a remote switch instead of being selfies).
The other thing that matters is ethics. This is a guy who earns his bread through this trade. He isn't some millionaire or even some rich photographer that the royalties from this photo he is losing won't affect him. On the other hand, paying royalties to him would probably not have affected those who downloaded the images, at least not in a big way anyway. So why is wikimedia citing technical reasons to deprive this guy of some earnings? Especially since they aren't getting the money, anyway!
Even worse, photographers on this forum are repeating those technical clauses instead of thinking how a fellow tog is losing the money that could have helped him and his family. I see people rant here how we should support Gary Fong and Expoimaging and not deprive them by buying the cheap knockoff versions. Where is that support now?