Alec: The photographer's claim was that he'd paid for the photoshoot - so he acted in the role of the producer.
In determining which party actually lent the image its broad public appeal, it is clearly the monkey who both posed and operated the camera, not the photographer whose camera it was. The internet is full of "conventional" monkey images that are next to worthless. What made this image popular was the monkey's expression and the fact that it was a selfie.
Therefore in lieu of any model releases and camera operator releases signed by the monkey's legal council granting specific rights to the photographer, the monkey would own the copyright if there was a law allowing this. In lieu of such a law, the image is not copyrighted.
Do people who can't distinguish council from counsel have a right to express an opinion on copyright matters?