Thursday, July 13, 2006

For Immediate Release

To raise awareness about metadata and encourage its adoption, SAA has published a “Metadata Manifesto.” It provides guiding principles and practices for anyone who creates, uses, or manages digital images, as well as those developing supporting technology and services. Highlighting the efforts of international standards bodies and industry groups, the Manifesto stresses the urgency of metadata adoption, especially by the stock photography industry.

July 11, 2006. Photographers losing money from copyright infringement; editors scrapping photos from layouts because they lack caption information; librarians struggling to make burgeoning digital asset collections publicly available—Diverse problems, but they share a common solution: metadata.

Anyone who has searched for images on stock photography web sites has benefited from metadata, but once the image is removed from the site, that information is usually lost unless it’s been embedded into the file. That metadata can provide critical ownership and usage information, as well as descriptive caption information that can be used to help search and identify image subjects.

To raise awareness about metadata and encourage its adoption, the Stock Artists Alliance is releasing its Metadata Manifesto. The Manifesto provides guiding principles and practices for anyone who creates, uses, or manages electronic images, as well as those developing digital hardware and software. Highlighting the efforts of international standards bodies and industry groups (such as IPTC and PLUS), the Manifesto stresses the urgency of metadata adoption.

As an advocacy group for stock photographers, SAA is especially concerned about the impact on the stock photography industry. As images are disseminated, their underlying information is often lost. With the continuing fragmentation of the stock photography market and proposed copyright law changes that would undermine protections for owners of so-called “orphan works,” SAA believes it is now critical to increase metadata use and support.

“This is SAA's wake-up call to the photo industry,” says David Riecks, Chair of SAA’s Imaging Technology Standards committee. “Photographers need to add metadata to their digital images now, or risk losing future income. Without metadata, they may as well be putting their images in a black hole.”

Says Riecks, “We need industry-wide commitment to metadata. We need technology that makes it easy to embed it, preserve it, and facilitate tracking and rights management. Without a dedicated industry-wide effort, using and managing digital assets will continue to be problematic, and photographers stand to lose more than anyone."

Download the Manifesto


Blogger Jluk said...

Two comments:

Metadata included data EXIF and IPTC. With standard XMP, data IPTC can by everyone, but data EXIF are integrated forces and cannot be modified even by the author of the images! Do you accept that no matter who can examine your opératopire mode, knows with precision the place (GPS) and the hour of your catches of sights?
The editors can thus make certain information inviolable, but they chose to protect the bad data.
Currently, the moten to only remove data EXIF is to record the images with the old versions of software implementing XMP, or with tools like Gimp, which do not take them yet into account.

Second observation, Adabe and some others record metadata XMP of certain files (RAW) in an external file .xmp. It is the best means of losing data, it is innaxeptable. The more so as certain software can integrate the metadata in files RAW.

Jean-Luc Kokel, French author-photographer not controlling English…

3:44 AM  
Blogger Stock Artists Alliance said...


In principal, EXIF data is considered as read only. However, there are a number of programs that do allow the user to rewrite some of the fields within the EXIF metadata. Some utilities even allow the removal of certain fields, which the photographer may choose to remove if they wish for others not to know the latitude/longitude of where the image was made, or what lens, aperture or shutter speed was used to make the image.

Sidecar files such as XMP are indeed problematic. However, they exist because the proprietary RAW file formats may be easily corrupted when metadata is rewritten to the file. The DNG format is an attempt to remove the need for an XMP file, however this format may limit which RAW file processors you can use after the conversion.

At this point in time, it's a real dilemma, and one of the reasons why this Metadata Manifesto was published.

David Riecks

10:38 AM  

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