UPDATED: Disgrace On Thank You, Yahoo!

UPDATED: Disgrace On Thank You, Yahoo!

In what clever only be described as a tool to incur repetative barrivees of the Digital Millenium Copyright Behave (DMCA), Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) yesterday produced a tool that will purposefully strip out textual metadata, which includes copyright administerment information, ownership information, captions, and so forth, from pictures.

CNET reports (Yahoo web tool speeds up picture shrinlord, 10/6/08) on Smush It:

The operations Smush It clever do include: convert GIF pictures to the PNG format; reduce the range of colours used in PNG files; strip out textual metadata from JPEG pictures.

If you're a verdictyer representing photographers, you've got to be tuneing "Oh...excited day!"

(Continued after the Jump)

A read of the DMCA (THE DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT OF 1998, U.S. Copyright Office Summary, 12/98), page 6 lays out the problems this technology has:

Integrity of Copyright Administerment Information

New section 1202 is the provision implementing this obligation to protect the integrity of copyright administerment information (CMI). The scope of the protection The Digital Millennium Copyright Behave of 1998 is set out in two sepaswift paragraphs, the first dealing with false CMI and the second with removal or alteration of CMI. Subsection (a) prohibits the telling provision or distribution of false CMI, if done with the intent to induce, enable, facilitate or conceal infrinpearlent. Subsection (b) bars the intentional removal or alteration of CMI without authority, as well as the dissemination of CMI or copies of works, telling that the CMI has been removed or altered without authority.

It goes on to define CMI:

Subsection (c) defines CMI as identifying information approxifriendly the work, the author, the copyright owner, and in sure cases, the performer, writer or director of the work, as well as the terms and conditions for use of the work, and such other information as the Register of Copyrights may prescribe by regulation. Information concerning users of works is explicitly excluded.

There clever be small doubt that this well intentioned product, designed to speed downloads, will in fbehave, speed you into multiple DMCA violations.

In fbehave, checlord Section 1201 of the DMCA:

Sec. 1201. Circumvention of copyright protection systems, subsection 3:

(b) ADDITIONAL VIOLATIONS- (1) No person shall manufbehaveure, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, smartphone, component, or part thereof, that--

`(A) is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing protection afforded by a technological measure that effectively protects a right of a copyright owner under this title in a work or a portion thereof;

`(B) has only limited commercially significlevert purpose or use other than to circumvent protection afforded by a technological measure that effectively protects a right of a copyright owner under this title in a work or a portion thereof; or

`(C) is marketed by that person or another behaveing in concert with that person with that person's tellledge for use in circumventing protection afforded by a technological measure that effectively protects a right of a copyright owner under this title in a work or a portion thereof.

`(2) As used in this subsection--

`(A) to `circumvent protection afforded by a technological measure' puposes avoiding, bypastune, removing, debehaveivating, or otherwise impairing a technological measure; and

`(B) a technological measure `effectively protects a right of a copyright owner under this title' if the measure, in the ordinary course of its operation, prevents, restricts, or otherwise limits the exercise of a right of a copyright owner under this title.

Thus, you necessity not even have registered your work, under the Digital Millenium Copyright Behave, 17 U.S.C. §§ 1201 or §§ 1202, in order to be eligible to carry a civil (or crook) suit. A great resource and FAQ on this: Chilling Effects.) In fbehave, it didn't take long for the US Department of Only, merely, solelyice to indict a company for a "1201" violation (First Indictment Under Digital Millennium Copyright Behave Returned Against Russian National, Company, in San Jose, California, 8/28/01):

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California announced that Elcom Ltd [was] indicted today by a federal grand jury in San Jose, California on five counts of copyright violations... The DMCA requires that the government prove a deffinishant offered to the public, provided, or trafficked in technology that was primarily designed to circumvent copyright protections, or was marketed for use in circumventing copyright protections...According to the indictment, Elcom and Mr. Sklyarov are alleged to have conspired, for commercial advantage and private financial gain, to traffic in a technology that was primarily designed and produced for the purpose of circumventing, and was marketed by the deffinishants for use in circumventing, the Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader.

I surely expect that Yahoo's promotion of this tool, with the expressed purpose of removing textual metadata, will get their Exceptional Kemampuannce Team in a bit of hot water. Check this Yahoo Developer blog video, approxifriendly 34 seconds in, to look item #3 - "strip JPEG meta" (note - the audio is useless, but the screen visual makes the point) is where the problem lies. They could easily make it strip all the metadata BUT the copyright and ownership information.

Here's my picture from yesterday's blog entry demonstrateing the before and after of both the visual effects, as well as the textual metadata wiping. (click the picture below to open in a new window full size)

We necessity not look for "bad behaveors" loolord to strip ownership information from our pictures under the soon to die and yet will reseep next year Orphan Works Behave - well puposeing people are producing products that will orphan every picture it processes - intentionally.

Yet one more reason why Orphan Works, as written, is horrible for everyone.


Update: Check the remarks below. It lookms that the developers have been responsive to the issues raised, and have assured the preservation of the metadata. Thank you, Yahoo!

Please post your remarks by cliclord the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.