We're all clear that under the U.S. Copyright Code, the author of an original work has exclusive rights over the copyrighted work. But what if the author is not a living person but rather a monkey? The question has arisen not once but twice in the past eighteen months: originally in the context of a video that was entirely filmed by chimpanzees and more recently when a monkey in Indonesia snatched nature photographer David Slater's camera and started taking photographs. Two of those photographs were found to be subject to copyright notices claiming that not the monkey, not Slater but Caters News Agency held the copyright. The only way the agency could claim to have such rights is if there had been an assignment (a legal transfer of rights) of the copyrights by the author of the original work to the agency. But there could not have been any such assignment since no one owns the copyright - neither the monkey nor Slater (who presumably "submitted the photos to the agency"). Why? Because monkeys are not afforded rights under the Copyright Code and because Slater did not take the photos himself. The photos, I would argue, are therefore not protected by copyright.