Monday, May 19, 2008

Free PHP scripts preserve metadata for server-side image resizing processes that use GD

Laura Cotterman has discovered that resizing images on your website using the popular server-side application GD can inadvertently remove metadata from your image files. As there are many widely distributed PHP scripts for image galleries which resize (or watermark) images with GD, this would create a lot of potential "Orphan Works" and Cotterman decided to do something. She wrote a couple of simple functions that can be added to PHP scripts for applications using GD for image resizing so that the IPTC metadata is maintained, and built a website to give them away.

The ImageMetadata website has a full complement of resources, including a "Live Example" where you can test out the functions on one of your own images. These functions are available at no cost under the GNU license and can be downloaded at the ImageMeta website.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Orphan Works is back

On April 24, new draft versions of the Orphan Works Act of 2008 were introduced by both Houses of the U.S. Congress. The Stock Artists Alliance has published extensive commentary about Orphan Works, specifically noting the particular problems related to metadata and online distribution of images. They note that it is critical that copyright holder metadata be preserved to prevent images from becoming orphaned.

SAA offers specific recommendations for the legislation so that the needs of both image users and copyright holders are balanced. They also are conducting an extensive "MetaSurvey" of stock images, and their early findings indicate that most images being distributed in the marketplace have inadequate identifying information embedded in the image files.