Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Bad Flickr …not bad panda

For some reason I believed that flickr had stopped stripping the EXIF data out of images when they are shared. This might not sound like a big issue but it is for those that rely on the image having an embedded copyright or creative commons entry in the IPTC and EXIF metadata. This in theory means that anyone that “finds” an image on the net should be able to trace the image back to its rightful owner. The trouble begins when various countries are enacting so called “instagram acts”, which allow “orphaned” photos to be freely used without and copyright or creative commons restrictions. Stripping the meta data away when and image is displayed effectively makes the image an orphan, if the user doesn’t want to take any further effort to find its owner.

Screen capture of a photo backloaded from flickr by irista I was experimenting with some of the sharing and social network integration in Irista, and happened to notice when irista bought images back from flickr the metadata was stripped. This surprise me because valid meta data is a key check that irista does on upload.

Flickr is only one of the popular services doing it. The only service I have found not doing it is google+

Looks like it is back to always including a visible watermark on flickr, or more probably not uploading important images there anymore.

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