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New JPEG security measures | TakenPlace

Lock up your JPEGs

Lock up your JPEGs

TakenPlace was created with a strict mandate to help photographers protect their images from misuse and theft. Now it seems that we aren’t the only ones….

I recently read an article on the BBC news with great interest. For a long time I have spent time talking to photographers about how they secure their images from theft, the measures that they take to find photographs being misused & even one case of legal action being taken to get content removed. The fact that this issue is now national (albeit 10th page) news is of great satisfaction to me.

How many photographs do you take and share via unsecure networks?

How many take a slice of your ownership the moment you click ‘upload’?

How many of those networks allow ‘premium’ users to practically pinch your images?

These are some of the questions we asked ourselves when we launched TakenPlace

Closer Inspection

And now they are contributing reasons for the Joint Photographic Experts Group (Jpeg) taking a look at the issues themselves.

Although little is currently known about their suggested approach a common assumption is that additional metadata tags (like those we use to locate the point at which a photo was taken) will be used to attribute the image to a device or owner.

Some talk of concerns about a users privacy through such a system. “Anyone could see who took that photograph” they can be heard muttering, but that’s the point!

Photographers rarely see themselves as ghost writers, panning their wares to whomever wishes to use their images without a jot of recognition. All photographers are artists, capturing moments, scenes and emotion through the eye of their camera. Should such art not be applauded and the creative mind or skilled captor behind it not recognised?

DRM beware 

We are obviously a long way from a solution and even longer from a system that can recognise and enforce the use of photographs across the world. I can only imagine the lessons that JPeg must learn to avoid the pitfalls of previous DRM system clashes.

The important message here is recognition of an issue and of the challenges to be overcome. Ensuring the balance between freedom of use, allowing the editing images and use of images where appropriate, whilst protecting the right to ownership.


I’ll be watching this story with interest and will provide updates as they come in.


Have you ever experienced issues with photography ownership? If so I’d love to hear from you so get in touch.

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