Lock metadata/copyright information in an image?

New Here ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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We have a lot of photos that we are going to put up on our website. Im now working on putting metadata/copyright/IPTC on every image. This is going fine and there is no problem. Copyright belongs to us. But I see that anyone can manipulate the information if they want to. The images on the website is watermarked BUT if a client want to lisence the image we will send a high res image with no watermarks. This image is easy for the client to manipulate if they want. The can just open it i PS and and change all metadata/copyright and save it and publish anywhere they want and it looks like its their image.

Is there anyway to "lock" the metadata/copyright/IPTC so its hard to manipulate? Only option I got from Adobe support was to save all the photos as PDF and then create a password so it cant be changed. But that is not an option for several reasons.

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Actions and scripting , macOS , Windows

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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No. Copyright is a subject of legal regulation. Metadata fields are not the only way to prove that you own the rights to an image.

 

You can use steganography or service headers inside the file to embed information there, but what's the point? The further you hide the information, the less likely it is that someone will be able to get it (including you, if the image is modified)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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Under the Berne Convention, copyright is automatic to the creator of the work. There is no formal or legal reason to include a copyright mark! It is legally just as well protected without.

 

It is much more important to clearly mark who the creator is, in metadata or otherwise.

 

The copyright mark is mostly used in the US, because US legislation has imposed some minor limitations to legal "post-processing" in case of infringement, if the work is not registered. But the copyright still applies and that in no way means the work can be used by others.

 

In other words, everything is copyrighted unless explicitly released.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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Learn about content credentials if that's perhaps something you look for, how ever in Photoshop (Beta).

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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In a word, no. If someone has the image, they can do whatever they want with it. Depending on your country, you may have to register your copyright with your government to get legal protection.

There are some schemes such as Digimarc if you want to throw a lot of money at the problem.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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quote

Depending on your country, you may have to register your copyright with your government to get legal protection


By @Lumigraphics

 

Very few countries haven't signed the Berne convention, under which copyright is automatic. You have full and complete legal protection without doing anything. If you made it, it's copyrighted.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_parties_to_international_copyright_agreements 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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In the US you can't get statutory damages unless you register your work. Its stupid and expensive but of course the law favors corporations over small creators.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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Yes, that's correct. However, it's important to stress that this is very specific to US legislation. It doesn't apply anywhere else, contrary to what a lot of people believe. Maybe because of American dominance in Western culture: we've seen it on TV, so it must be true 😉

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_registration 

 

It should also be emphasized that the copyright itself is still in place. There is still no particular need for a copyright mark.

 

In any case, traditional copyright law isn't very well suited for the internet world. Creative Commons is a much more flexible framework, increasingly used. Many think CC equals free-for-all, but that's a misunderstanding. There are different levels of CC licensing, and only the "lowest" level allows free use. When a CC license is applied, it overrides traditional copyright in the same way that a release form does. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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Perhaps you'll find this useful.

https://www.copyright.gov/registration/photographs/

warmly/j

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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A lot of the problem is with the standard image file formats themselves. JPEG, GIF, PNG might be the only formats you can use on a website, but those formats don’t provide any way of locking the metadata.

 

Even if there was a way to lock one document’s metadata, the quick and easy workaround for stripping all of your metadata is to open the image, select all, copy, and paste into a new document. Because metadata is at the document level, pasting into a new document makes the pasted content take on the metadata of the new document. And I haven’t even mentioned Photoshop because I think it works that way in all image editors.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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Photoshop allows you to store metadata in each individual layer. Metadata cannot be written to the layer in the usual ways, but it can be done using scripts. In this case (if we are not talking about copying canvas pixels with the command select all -> copy), then copying any layer as an object from the layers palette into the new document (ctrl + c & ctrl + v) saves all its metadata.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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@jazz-y wrote:

Photoshop allows you to store metadata in each individual layer. Metadata cannot be written to the layer in the usual ways, but it can be done using scripts. 


 

Well…I learned something today! 🙂

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LEGEND ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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I can't remember now but creating new document of same dimension & resolution and dragging layers from original may remove their metadata as well while duplicating to new document rather keeps them.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 30, 2022 Mar 30, 2022

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[video]

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LEGEND ,
Mar 30, 2022 Mar 30, 2022

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I was answering to original Conrad C reply so I was saying of document metadata, not layer 😉

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 30, 2022 Mar 30, 2022

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In a threaded view, it is not always clear who the comment is intended for. I better turn it off 😉

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 30, 2022 Mar 30, 2022

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Yes, don't we all hate that...I sometimes just leave threads altogether, because it's no longer possible to keep any kind of sensible track of what who said when. It's like everybody's in different rooms shouting 😉

 

Linear view doesn't help then, because the replies are jumbled, not my view of them.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 30, 2022 Mar 30, 2022

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LATEST

@D Fosse wrote:

Yes, don't we all hate that...I sometimes just leave threads altogether, because it's no longer possible to keep any kind of sensible track of what who said when. It's like everybody's in different rooms shouting 😉


 

Yes, that is exactly why I got into the habit of quoting what I’m replying to, because a lot of times it isn’t clear from the way the thread is structured. It’s an even bigger problem when posts are merged into other threads; you then see posts obviously commenting on something, but with the original context lost, you have no idea what it is…

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LEGEND ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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Consider: if the metadata could actually be locked (it can't, because the image rules say it is simple plain text), then the user could simply use Copy/Paste into a new image.

 

A PDF password is worthless too; if you can see something on screen you can copy it. This is unfortunately the world we live in.

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