Canon is using Iris watermarking to take photographer’s copyright protection to the next level.
. . . to provide an imaging apparatus that makes it possible to protect the copyright of photographic images by reliably acquiring biological information of a photographer . . . – US Patent Application No. 2008/0025574
Stories like the recent discovery of Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir’s stolen Flickr images that surfaced on iStockphoto make all photographers cringe. Many photographers go to great lengths to protect their images. Past attempted solutions include watermarks on the front of images. I can recall this practice from my childhood years with the Olan Mills studio gold embossing in the bottom corner.
More recently, in the digital age of photography, watermarking in Photoshop or other image editing software. While visible watermarks are common among a variety of photographers, invisible watermarks (“electronic or digital watermarks“), which are embedded in the image file, are somewhat less prevalent – but gaining ground and acceptance among photographers. Companies like Digimarc are pressing the digital watermark cause to protect photographer’s and other author’s data.
Camera companies are pushing forward as well. Stories like that of Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir help increase the desirability and demand for practical copyright solutions in modern digital photography. [Read more…]