A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but permanently attached descriptions are worth a lot more as photos travel through the digital world.
A campaign has been launched now to embed descriptive and rights information in digital media and to retain it during the whole life cycle.
The initiative has been launched by the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC), the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), with the support of trade organisations representing visual arts and photo agencies. It aims to establish the practice of applying descriptions and the copyright status of the content as metadata, and to embed it permanently during the electronic exchange of digital photo, text, audio or video files.
This practice is based on the principles defined by the Embedded Metadata Manifesto on the web site www.embeddedmetadata.org which invites organisations and individuals to support the campaign.
The campaign is designed for producers and users of digital media and the hardware and software vendors who play a key role in enabling interoperability in data exchange. The business benefits for both producers and users include efficient delivery, successful retrieval, and improved rights management.
“Metadata is an important driver for business productivity, so it should always be retained. Too much data is currently lost,” said Michael Steidl, managing director of the IPTC which created the Embedded Metadata Manifesto. “It is time for content creators, distributors and software vendors to work together to bring about conditions where business can make use of metadata to track and preserve media files, copyright and other rights, as this is critical for the creative industries that depend on that for their existence.”
“Embedding descriptive information into commercial files, removes manual steps, and duplication of effort, which can save time and money, and forms the foundation for more efficient operations, measurement, and monetization of advertising assets. These are the core reasons why the 4A’s and ANA partnered to create Ad-ID, the United States standard for identifying Advertising assets across all media platforms,” said Harold Geller, Senior Vice President Cross Country-Industry Workflow for the 4A’s.
The five key principles of the Embedded Metadata Manifesto are:
1. Metadata is essential to describe, identify and track digital media and should be applied to all media items which are exchanged as files or by other means such as data streams.
2. Media file formats should provide the means to embed metadata in ways that can be read and handled by different software systems.
3. Metadata fields, their semantics (including labels on the user interface) and values, should not be changed across metadata formats.
4. Copyright management information metadata must never be removed from the files.
5. Other metadata should only be removed from files by agreement with their copyright holders.