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Beamtracer
05-03-2005, 02:42 AM
http://www.imaging-resource.com/NPICS1/LOGOS/D2HS.JPG

Are you the owner of photos you shot with your Nikon camera, or does Nikon own the copyright to those images?

Exert from The Sydney Morning Herald (subscription)
http://www.smh.com.au/news/Next/Shutters-down-on-Nikon/2005/05/02/1114886287209.html (http://www.smh.com.au/news/Next/Shutters-down-on-Nikon/2005/05/02/1114886287209.html)
Nikon's decision to encrypt photographs created with its digital cameras calls into question the ownership of the "digital negative", says the creator of the Photoshop image editing software.

"Copyrighted information inside the file belongs to the photographer, not Nikon, but Nikon apparently thinks they own the information," Thomas Knoll wrote in Adobe's online forum.

Adobe Systems, which bought Macromedia last month, discovered while updating its Photoshop software that Nikon encrypted the white balance data of its raw format picture files in its latest professional digital cameras.

Australian professional photographer Adam Watson says the copyright of any product created with a piece of software or hardware should rest with the creator and not the manufacturer.

"Anything that you can manipulate in (a) camera should be entirely yours to do with as you please," Watson says.

"This sounds very restrictive and very much against the photographer."

It is speculated that Nikon is trying to spur sales of its Nikon Capture software.

At Imaging-Resource.com (http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEWS/1113977781.html) they argue that any person or company who tries to circumvent Nikon's encryption could be breaching the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEWS/1113977781.html (http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEWS/1113977781.html)
One could argue that Nikon's encryption of the white balance data is just such a measure (to protect Nikon's copyright under the DMCA laws) - which would make it an offense for a third party without permission to make software that could decrypt the original white balance setting used by the camera when the photo was shot. One could equally argue, however, that the copyright over the RAW file belongs to the photographer who captured the image - and hence the choice over what is done with that copyrighted work is entirely up to the photographer.

agreenster
05-03-2005, 02:53 AM
Does this mean that Bic owns my signature, Maya owns the rights to my animation, and Sears owns the title to my house?

Absolutely ridiculous. A tool is a tool, but the creation belongs to the creator, regardless of the tool.

tdamcbigity
05-03-2005, 02:56 AM
Yes?

Big brother is all around us... Or living with us... Crazy control.

jeremybirn
05-03-2005, 03:12 AM
I certainly support Adobe's decision to make a public case out of this issue, but that article is inaccurate. What Adobe is complaining about is some encription in the white balance metadata, not the image itself. There's a more informative interview with a programmer who has cracked most of these camera raw formats here:

RAW storm in a teacup? Dave Coffin interviewed (http://www.dpreview.com/news/0504/05042701davecoffininterview.asp)

-jeremy

Beamtracer
05-03-2005, 03:30 AM
There's a more informative interview with a programmer who has cracked most of these camera raw formats here:

RAW storm in a teacup? Dave Coffin interviewed (http://www.dpreview.com/news/0504/05042701davecoffininterview.asp)
Does that mean if I want to use the photo manipulation software of my choice (rather than Nikon's own 'Nikon Capture' software) that I may have to use some third party cracking software first? (Assuming that Nikon doesn't make their white balance encryption freely available).

I'd feel silly having to 'crack' my own images to view them using non-Nikon software.

Also, what reason would Nikon have for encrypting parts of your image, other than to lock you out of using that image in any way you want to (with any software you want to). There is no other reason for encryption.

jeremybirn
05-03-2005, 03:42 AM
Does that mean if I want to use the photo manipulation software of my choice (rather than Nikon's own 'Nikon Capture' software) that I may have to use some third party cracking software first? (Assuming that Nikon doesn't make their white balance encryption freely available).

I'd feel silly having to 'crack' my own images to view them using non-Nikon software.

Also, what reason would Nikon have for encrypting parts of your image, other than to lock you out of using that image in any way you want to (with any software you want to). There is no other reason for encryption.

No doubt, they are trying to give their own software an advantage in one area, that's what they are being (quite fairly) criticized for. Bad Nikon, Bad! Still, the overreaction of "Nikon Owns Your Photos" is a misleading spin to give to this battle between software vendors.

-jeremy

Lunatique
05-03-2005, 03:44 AM
Yeah, it sucks. Using proprietary software made by the manufacturer is not always the best solution. Certain photos look much better when processed with a third-party RAW converter, and if they encrypt the white balance, it cripples your range of choices for post processing. BAD NIKON!

Beamtracer
05-03-2005, 03:51 AM
Still, the overreaction of "Nikon Owns Your Photos" is a misleading spin

The "Nikon owns your photos" line is actually from Thomas Knoll who developed Photoshop. It is Knoll who says that Nikon placing copyrighted data in your image file (ie the encrypted white balance data) calls into question the ownership of the digital negative. I just repeated his assertions.

You'll have to take that one up with Thomas Knoll!

js33
05-03-2005, 04:14 AM
Nikon: "All your photos are belong to us"

Adobe: "All your media content creation programs are belong to us"

Hehehehe. Well someone had to say it.

Cheers,
JS

pearson
05-03-2005, 06:34 AM
Another excellent point brought up on /. was that Nikon has been making a new version of the RAW format for each new camera. This means that the camera you have may not be supported in 10 years, when you have a new operating system that won't run the Nikon converter from '05. Hence, your digital negative may not have the kind of longevity that a professional photographer has a right to expect from a professional camera.

Mike.H
05-03-2005, 07:17 AM
a crappy decision from Nikon anyway we see it.

unitstudio
05-03-2005, 07:25 AM
I suspect we're going to see a lot more of this. it reflects what's been happening in music for the past few years... restrictive and anti-competitive measures such as DRM encrypted files..(or region encoding on DVD's etc)

(everyone support OGG Vorbis and FLAC!!! A free and open sourced file formats - buy players that support ogg - ok that's my mini-rant on that matter)

I guess the upshot of this is buy another manufacturers camera. If enough people do it Nikon will get the message. In the meantime I'll stick with my old but excellent film-based Pentex SLR (it cost me a fortune when i was at uni)

-g

eliseu gouveia
05-03-2005, 03:51 PM
I wonder how much of mankind does Bayer owns....

talos72
05-03-2005, 05:03 PM
Well, if that's Nikon's attitude I certainly wont be buying any of their cams...I was actually thinking of buying one of their new Pro-sumer SLRs. F them...

HapZungLam
05-03-2005, 05:49 PM
Intel and AMD owns all of my right then.

what a joke.

Alan Daniels
05-03-2005, 07:57 PM
Adobe certainly seems to like the DMCA when it suits their purposes. Back in 2002 they had a Russian programmer arrested and held for six months, all for figuring out the encryption on their stuff, and only for legitimate uses, even:
http://www.freesklyarov.org/

This is the reason I'll never buy an Adobe product. :hmm:

Morten_Jensen
05-03-2005, 08:10 PM
Well, dont buy Nikon, and use open source software when possible!



best regards
Morten

toonman
05-03-2005, 09:33 PM
Well, dont buy Nikon, and use open source software when possible!


The problem with this (every time), is that Nikon (or any other company for that matter) don't care about us the tech-saavy guys... we represent a VERY small portion of their market (for a large portion of their product catalog). Their market are my dad, my uncle, my sister, etc (of course, the high-end gear is a different thing). And neither of them care a ding about the encription thing (hell... they don't even know what that is), or which software they need to use to crop their photos to send them to my brother over to Nukanuka via email so he can see his new nephew (this is just an example, of course). That is the way things are. And that happens with lots of products (some exceptions might apply). I can try and boicot a company by not buying their products (no EA games at all from this point on), and I can even send emails to everyone I know telling them about a product that can be risky to buy, but I really wonder how many of the "normal" people out there (meaning, non-technical folks) really care about stuff like this, and how much impact this really has on sales... *sigh*

Thalaxis
05-04-2005, 03:59 PM
Nikon's not a particularly big player in the consumer market, so we actually DO represent a sizeable
percentage of their markets.

If it annoys enough users enough to make them avoid buying a Nikon digital camera, it will help the smaller
players in the pro photography market as well as Canon. :)

SuperMax
05-04-2005, 04:17 PM
You people should consider yourself lucky that they havent started using watermarks yet on their photos.

Imagine that classic sunset photo youve just taken completely ruined my a "NIKON" or "CANON" watermark in the lower right corner.


It will get to that. trust me it will...

the war is over...

paintbox
05-04-2005, 04:58 PM
I see a Nikon dSLR sales drop (if really all you can use is Nikon software), a rise in the competitors sales. I also see Nikon coming back to this decision when this happens.

-Vormav-
05-04-2005, 05:02 PM
I see a Nikon dSLR sales drop (if really all you can use is Nikon software), a rise in the competitors sales. I also see Nikon coming back to this decision when this happens.
While I wouldn't be surprised if Nikon started rethinking this practice now that Adobe is pointing it out to everyone, I wouldn't expect the drop in sales to be too substantial. I mean, how many people do you think are even going to hear about this? (Though I guess if you're putting out over 1k for a digital slr, you're going to do a fair amount of research before buying...).

Thalaxis
05-04-2005, 05:08 PM
I mean, how many people do you think are even going to hear about this?


Almost everyone who uses a digital camera and knows what RAW is... which means almost everyone
with a digital SLR camera, which accounts for most Nikon customers. :)

balistic
05-04-2005, 07:13 PM
People, read the article and not the headline.

Beamtracer
05-04-2005, 09:59 PM
I think you can use non-Nikon image editing software with the new Nikon cameras. It's just that they may not read the white balance information properly, because that's information that Nikon keeps to itself.

So, if you go outside taking photos you might set the camera to "Daylight" setting, and when you import these raw images into Nikon's own software they'll all look properly balanced. However if you import the same raw images into some other image editing software, the color balance information will be read incorrectly and the images will probably all have the wrong color balance.

You could fix your images by going through each one and color balancing the whole lot. The raw images should have enough latitude to do this successfully, though it may take a lot of time to do.

Professional photographers would manually color balance their prized images anyway. But do you really want to have to color balance all your raw images?

Think about what you do with your current digital camera. Do you color balance everything? Probably not. So it would be a pain in the butt to have to adjust your images every time to make them viewable, just because you don't want to use Nikon's software.

Because Nikon have made it harder to use your photos with non-Nikon software, it also calls into question what computer platforms Nikon may choose to support in the future.

Will Nikon keep supporting their proprietary software on multiple computer platforms? Linux, OS X? When the current version of Windows grows old, will they keep making their image editing software for it?

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