How well does your favorite photo hosting and/or sharing service handle the copyright information and EXIF data of your photographs? How do the popular services stack up against one another in this regard?
Metadata handling isn’t often discussed when photo sites are compared, but that’s what the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) has been devoting an entire study to. The organization has published its findings regarding which companies play nicely with your metadata, and which pretend it’s not there.
EXIF data embedded in an image file can shed quite a bit of information about a photo, including how it was created and the owner of the copyright. It’s useful, but can be easily stripped away. A new consortium led by three organizations (IPTC, 4A’s, and ANA) is pushing to make metadata permanent. It recently published an Embedded Metadata Manifesto, which states,
Ownership metadata is the only way to save digital content from being considered orphaned work. Removal of such metadata impacts on the ability to assert ownership rights and is therefore forbidden by law in many countries.
[...] Properly selected and applied metadata fields add value to media assets. For most collections of digital media content descriptive metadata is essential for retrieval and for understanding. Removing this valuable information devalues the asset.
Do you want to live in a world where it’s illegal to remove or tamper with a photograph’s EXIF data?
(via NPPA via PopPhoto)