I have seen absolutely beautiful things happen in the photo industry. I’ve seen strangers become best friends, I’ve seen grand ideas being brought to life, and I’ve seen photographers grow from beginners to mentors. I’ve seen so many things that make me proud to be a part of such an amazing community.
The sad news is that I’ve also seen the uglier side of it. I’ve seen jealousy turn into bad-mouthing, I’ve seen photographers knowingly leave out key techniques from classes or talks, and I’ve seen new photographers become discouraged and disheartened by the cold shoulders of the more popular photographers in the industry. For a lack of better words, that sucks. Nobody benefits from negativity like that so we might as well get rid of it.
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)