Friday, July 20, 2007

Tracking photographers

Following on from my last post about the new Harry Potter novel having been made available online when someone took photographs of every page and made them available in a torrent you can understand the publishers are a little annoyed. Having spent so much time taking the photographs I suppose the book owner was quite keen to publish their work so it never dawned on them that they could be tracked down by those very photographs.

By examining the vital information - or 'metadata' - built into each photo, the company's [Canon] technical officers have established the serial number of the camera that was used, which could in turn lead to the identity of the camera's owner.

The information, known as Exchangeable Image File Format (Exif) data, has already revealed that the camera used was a Canon Rebel 350. Because the model is three years old, the device would likely have been serviced at least once since it was purchased, in which case the owner's name would be known.

The lawyers are now involved so you can bet they wont let this one go until the trail runs cold or they have the copyright violator roasting on their spits. This is pretty trivial stuff but I'm sure the same technology could be used to track down photographers, both those who committed a crime but also those who just pissed off a government somewhere with their photograph.

[via Boing Boing]

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