The US Copyright Office has refused to register the copyright of the infamous selfie taken by a monkey.
The Office said in its latest copyright law compendium (PDF) that images taken by animals, including the 2011 primate self-shot, could not be registered for copyright by a human.
"The Office will not register works produced by nature, animals, or plants," the US copyright authority said.
"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."
The document specifically cites the monkey picture which has been the source of a legal battle between the Wikimedia Foundation and a British photographer. Nature photographer David Slater said that the image was taken in 2011 when a mischievous macaque swiped his camera and was found to have pressed the shutter button a number of times.
Now, according to the Copyright Office, the matter is formally settled. The Office clearly says that unless a human took the image, it cannot be registered and thus Slater cannot claim US copyright on it. ®