Metadata Matters News/Issues Posts


Screenshot shows number added by Facebook to the Special Instructions field on a photo.
Facebook’s “hidden” metadata codes July 19, 2019

A nefarious metadata plot has been unearthed and news of it is streaking around the interwebs. An Australian law student named Edin Jusupovic was casually looking at photos downloaded from Facebook in a hex editor and tweeted about what he saw. 
And from there, as they say, the rest was history. When last I looked, Jusupovic’s tweet had been retweeted 16,637 times, there were nearly 2,000 mostly clueless replies to his thread, and no less a journalistic standard-bearer than Forbes had weighed in: “Facebook Embeds ‘Hidden Codes’ To Track Who Sees And Shares Your Photos”, cried their headline. Read more

Photo Mechanic 6 interface
Photo Mechanic version 6 released May 14, 2019

Camera Bits has released version 6 of Photo Mechanic. Version 5 was released way back in 2012. According to Camera Bits’ Director of Marketing Nick Orlowski (sp?), there have been 43 updates to Photo Mechanic 5 during its six-year run. Many of those updates introduced new or refined functionality.  Clearly, Camera Bits isn’t pestering their users for upgrade fees every time we turn around
Camera Bits has lowered the price of a full Photo Mechanic license by $11, to (USD) $123. The upgrade fee drops by a buck, to (USD) $89.
So, what’s new in this long-awaited new version of Photo Mechanic? I’ll go over some of the high points here. Read more

Illustration on using variables on Photo Mechanic to update copyright year
Photo Mechanic can update copyright year automatically January 17, 2019

Have you advanced the year in your copyright notice? As I write this, the new year is a couple of weeks old. That’s about when most photographers start to feel a slight gnawing feeling that maybe there might be something they’ve forgotten.

So, go increment your copyright year while it’s still early enough to pretend that you did it in time for your first assignment of the new year.

Users of Photo Mechanic don’t have to go through this copyright year nonsense. In Photo Mechanic, you can just put a variable in the copyright field in your template. The variable will fill in the copyright year when you apply your template. And you don’t have to worry about it anymore. Ever. Again. Read more

Screenshot of Google Images, showing copyright metadata.
Respect copyright metadata now December 11, 2018

Google has begun actively surfacing copyright metadata on Google Images. Now that the Copyright field itself is working, users can see all three of the IPTC fields Google promised a few weeks ago. What does this mean for website operators?

It means that, if you haven’t already, you should make sure your site respects metadata on images.

If you haven’t already, you should, ah… encourage your content contributors to put their names on their work. Read more

Screenshot Exif time data, showing a picture of an ibis
Check your camera’s clock November 4, 2018

Did you set the time on your camera’s clock back from Daylight Saving Time to Standard time this morning?

For those of us who live in the US, at two o’clock this morning time slipped back and we gained (temporarily) an hour of sleep.
Around lunchtime, I somehow remembered that I needed to change the time back on the clocks in my cameras. And I felt good about it in the way that you feel good about doing something that you know you should do religiously, but, well, you aren’t quite as diligent as you should be. Read more

Google's illustration of their new functionality
Google Images Adds Metadata Support September 27, 2018

Google Images will include copyright-related IPTC metadata   Google announced today that Google Image Search will support some IPTC metadata. In a blog post dated today, September 27, 2018, Google Images product manager Ashutosh Agarwal says that “Starting today, we’ve added Creator and Credit metadata whenever present to images on… Read more

The real Statue of Liberty and the stamp, which shows a replica
Post Office Statue Snafu Redux July 11, 2018

There is a metadata angle to this story. We’ll get to that. But first, let’s vent about the outrage. Outrages. Multiple outrages. There is so much that is so wrong here.

Our tale begins as the Post Office, best known in some circles for delivering letters, and in others for infringing sculptors’ copyrights, begins production for a “Forever” stamp to be issued in late 2010. They wanted to do a Statue of Liberty stamp. They hired an image research consultant to scour stock agencies for a photo of the great statue.

Stock agencies?!!!!! Stock?! Why on earth would the Post Office use a stock photo of an iconic statue Read more

GDPR infopraphic
GDPR Update May 25, 2018

Today – May 25, 2018 – the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect.

The GDPR is a 200-page law designed to protect internet users from spam and abuse at the hands of websites and services that use or store data on individual users. It applies to any website that does business with people who live in the European Union. Which means every website in the world. Including this one.

I’m posting this GDPR update to let you know that I take your data and security seriously. And, for that matter, to let you know how much I appreciate the time you spend on this site. Read more

A De Havilland Otter on floats
Creative Commons needs metadata May 16, 2018

In this post, we’ll talk mostly about the considerations and decisions that must be made to get ready for labeling our works under Creative Commons.  Once you have a plan in place and some templates made, the actual workflow process is quick and easy. Read more

Brendan Quinn headshot as seen in a metadata editing application.
IPTC names new managing director April 30, 2018

The International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) has named Brendan Quinn as its new managing director.
Quinn joins the IPTC with two decades of experience in managing technology for media companies. In June 2018, he will succeed Michael Steidl, who will retire this summer after 15 years with the organisation. IPTC made the announcement today at their Spring Meeting in Athens. Read more

Pile of S.A. Rand banknotes
2.1 Billion Rand copyright suit March 15, 2018

A South African photographer is suing an agency of the South African government for copyright infringement. He is seeking a breath-taking 2.1 B-i-l-l-i-o-n Rand in damages. (I’m sorry. I can’t even type that number with a steady hand.) That’s north of $180,000,000 in US dollars.

So, how did this happen?

“I attach a photo you can use.”  is how. Read more

New IPTC viewer
New IPTC Tool Reveals Out-Of-Sync Metadata February 27, 2018

A newly-released application can add metadata viewing functionality to websites and web apps, or even on a local computer. IPTC Managing Director Michael Steidl wrote the program, Get IPTC PMD. The application, as configured for a test system, here, can display whether or not metadata is in sync between the three data blocks where IPTC data can live in your files.

Read more

Copyright notice in watermark on Simpson photo
Jessica Simpson sued over Copyright Management Information February 5, 2018

A photo agency has sued clothing mogul and former pop singer Jessica Simpson for copyright infringement and, of more interest to the readers of this blog, removal of copyright management information (CMI). Photo agency Splash News alleges in a lawsuit filed in federal court in the central district of California on January 23 of this year that Simpson posted on Instagram, and later Twitter, a photo owned by the agency. Read more

Google Vision returned correct, if not terribly useful, tags for the test iamge.
Is AI image recognition useful yet? November 7, 2017

Users discover that their iPhones are using AI image recognition technology to tag their pictures. Of their underwear. Gasp! A ripple on the internet ensues. But for real, can machine learning image recognition be useful? After some snarkiness, we take a look. Read more

Lord Kitchener - wants you to mind your metadata
The Ask September 11, 2017

require([“mojo/signup-forms/Loader”], function(L) { L.start({“baseUrl”:””,”uuid”:”9e4930d98c239436da5a6409b”,”lid”:”45c8348710″}) }) OK. So what, exactly, is it that I want you to do about this metadata thing? If you give birth to photographs – label them properly with a caption, copyright notice, and some contact information before you send them out into the world. If you… Read more

dickpiclocator screen capture
Do you need the dick pics locator? August 18, 2017

New website tells where dick pics come from; it’s all about metadata

Dick pics. Film at eleven. This week’s internet’s social, er, upheaval has it all. Bad puns. Check. Click bait. Check. Moral outrage. Check. (I guess.) Metadata. Check. Wait. Metadata? Read more

Old family photo
A meditation on the caption July 31, 2017

Captions connect pictures to the world. That connection between an image and its subjects, time and place (and its author, too) gives a photo the power to endure. Join your Aunt Louise as we explore the power of the caption. Read more

A portion of the Photoshop history for Emmanuel Macron's official portrait.
Macron portrait meta-mess July 5, 2017

Last week’s release of new French president Emmanuel Macron’s official portrait, by photographer Soazig de la Moissonnière, caused a stir on Twitter.  Metadata on the version of the photo released on the government’s website revealed that somebody had the picture open in Photoshop for some fifteen hours. But vital information was left off the photo. Read more

Metadata is really just labels.
Metadata helps marketers June 26, 2017

It’s about labels. Labeling digital assets, particularly pictures. Digital image files have places to put labels – labels about what’s shown in the image, who owns the image, who made the image, what you can do with the image, that sort of thing. In the old days, people put this kind of stuff on the backs of prints with a rubber stamp and pencil. Read more

IPTC metadata on a photo
Why webmasters should love metadata May 26, 2017

Webmasters — metadata is your friend. Respect it. We should be able to look at a photo, or another digital asset, and see for sure who owns the copyright, how to credit the photographer, and what the heck is going on in the picture. It’s one thing that the client… Read more

Old time metadata on news photo from the 80's
Metadata Protects Photographers’ Work May 25, 2017

 Put a copyright notice and caption on every photo! Once upon a time…. photographs were physical prints. “8×10 glossy” was a then-pop-culture buzzword. People usually/often/hopefully wrote notes on the prints about who or what was in the picture, who made the picture and when. If you looked at that picture… Read more

A beautiful picture without metadata
Join our metadata movement May 24, 2017

Welcome! This blog will focus on using embedded metadata to help photographers and other content creators protect their work and make it more valuable. We’ll talk about how website operators can do their part and help protect themselves from copyright problems, simplify their workflow and make their sites more authoritative.… Read more

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