John Nack Questions Canon’s Eyeball Copyrighting


In “Of Eyeballs & iHoles,” Adobe‘s John Nack is responding to one of the wildest photo copyright ideas around, Canon‘s Iris Registration Mode, something that embeds “biological metadata” into photos a photographer takes. If you haven’t read up on it, it’s really crazy and even if it doesn’t pan out, it’s one of those interesting bits of science fiction worth checking out. But Nack believes that’s about all it ever will be, something that won’t really do much of anything:

Iris scanning doesn’t address the fact that if you can edit the pixels of an image, you can get around copyright data in the image (through copy and paste to a new file, if nothing else). And for all the talk of wanting secure metadata, I don’t see much use of the Digimarc technology that’s been bundled in Photoshop for ~10 years (allowing copyright to be subtly encoded into the pixels themselves), nor do I hear of many photographers passing around their images as secure PDFs (which offer 128-bit encryption, among other things).