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The concept of digital 'originals'

SteveCharles 15 2.3k 18 England
25 Apr 2013 11:25AM
Apologies if this is already discussed, I haven't been here much lately.

Reading about the investigation into the topless photos of Kate (the Duchess), the following sentence caught my eye:

Quote:a Paris court banned Closer from re-publishing the images and ordered the gossip magazine to hand over the originals within 24 hours, or face a daily fine of 10,000 euros (8,000).

Assuming the photos are digital, 'handing over the originals' seems a rather pointless order, given the reproducibility of images, especially digitally. I started to wonder if a digital 'original' even exists; unless you keep your memory cards and use new when full, the 'original' file on your computer is already a copy, as is any backed up disc or whatever. Although often called a digital negative, a RAW file can of course be copied ad infinitum, so they are all 'originals' (or none of them are). So what does the court expect Closer to hand over exactly?

Film can of course be copied onto other film, or scanned and digitized, but there is still an original, the film that was in the camera.

Any thoughts on that?

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cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
25 Apr 2013 11:46AM
Image Authentication Systems and software have been around for ages, Anyone in the business of using photographs as lets say evidence in a court of law would have such a set up, Both on their cameras & computers.

I know for a fact that many police forces use Nikon cameras and Nikon Image Authentication Software, Quite how it works I have no idea, My limited experience with the feature suggests that any tampering with the original " Raw Frame " taken will be noted & added to the file using some sort of encryption, This can then be read by others with said software to reveal any meddling's.

Have no idea if the said system can also advise if the file has been copied, I doubt it as that would prevent genuine back up or storage use.

So no doubt a gazillion copies of an original could be produced, Especially once it has been converted to JPEG or whatever....!!! But the same would have been true of a film version in the print stage, Even copies of a negative perhaps, For newspapers etc loss of quality is hardly an issue....LOL...Grin

Today Nothing is safe, We are gonna have to get used to that or grow old & paranoid worrying about such things....Wink
oldblokeh 7 1.2k United Kingdom
25 Apr 2013 12:05PM


I know for a fact that many police forces use Nikon cameras and Nikon Image Authentication Software, Quite how it works I have no idea,/quote]

Not very well, apparently:

Nikon image authentication system cracked

keithh Plus
14 25.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
25 Apr 2013 12:34PM
Sensitive or major case photos are not simply downloaded by CSI to their own machines. The memory card is signed and its serial number recorded and the downloading and even copying and printing is handled by a secure imaging system which has nothing to do with Nikon.
SteveCharles 15 2.3k 18 England
25 Apr 2013 12:41PM
Image Authentication Software appears to show if an image has been tampered with, and basic exif can show the history of a file, for example the exif data accompanying an image I have on another site contains the line "converted from image/x-fuji-raw to image/jpeg, saved to new location". But an file doesn't have to be copied, or converted, for there to be other copies of it. I have RAW files on 2 or in some cases 3 computers, all transferred directly from the memory card. Which one is the original? Is it possible to tell if an image has been extracted from the card more than once?

Also, and forgive me if I'm wrong because I've never worked in this field, but I doubt Closer have the 'originals', or first generation files, and if they came via the photographers' agency (if he works for one), would they even have them?
JackAllTog Plus
9 5.0k 58 United Kingdom
25 Apr 2013 1:44PM

Quote:.. ordered the gossip magazine to hand over the originals ..........

I would take this to mean that the court jurisdiction over Closer was to prevent Closer using the images again or having them to sell on further etc. So they would have to fully delete all the images they held.

I think the Law on images and on-line content if very immature and will change for plenty of time yet as we come to grips with omnipresent data from the last 30 years and growing.

Wink Cant wait for time travel where we can turn up for 1/250th sec, snap a pic and be gone before we are even noticed. Photo's from all times as well will need legal protection then as well Wink

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