A nature photographer was taking photos of the famous snow monkeys of Jigokudani Monkey Park in Japan when a tourist had her iPhone stolen by a snow monkey, which retreated to the middle of a hot spring.
Photographer Marsel van Oosten of The Netherlands took a photo of the snow monkey holding the iPhone like a human and entitled it “Facebook Update.” The photo went viral. Everybody loved it. Even actor Ashton Kutcher.
|Ashton Kutcher steals photo, claims it as own.|
Ashton Kutcher, who has a huge social media following, loved the photo so much, he posted it on Facebook and claimed it as his own.
Van Oosten wrote on Facebook that Kutcher posted a filtered version of the snow monkey, telling GrindTV Outdoor that Ashton Kutcher removed his watermark and replaced it with a tiny watermark that says aplusk, Kutcher’s screen name on Twitter and Instagram. It’s very tiny, but you can see it in the shadow of the snow monkey at the bottom in the above link.
“I sent him two emails about this, but he never bothered to answer,” van Oosten told GrindTV. “It is a sad example of how easy people steal images from the Internet as if it’s the most normal thing to do. Ironically, Kutcher is part of the Hollywood clan that gets so worked up about people illegally downloading movies and TV series. It is mind boggling to see that Kutcher doesn’t realize he’s basically doing exactly the same thing himself: stealing copyrighted material, and to make matters worse, claiming it as his.”
A quick look at Ashton Kutcher’s Facebook page revealed that the actor must have finally gotten the message, because the photo was taken down without explanation or apology.
The snow monkey photo is getting a lot of attention lately, but not all because actor Ashton Kutcher stole the photo and claimed it as his own. No, the photo is among the 50 finalists for the People’s Choice Award in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition by The Natural History Museum of London. Public online voting is open until September 5. The snow monkey has to be a favorite.
The least Ashton Kutcher could do now is vote for the photo.
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