JPEG met to discuss adding DRM support to its image format

Posted on Wednesday, Oct 14 2015 @ 10:55 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
The Electronic Frontier Foundation raises the alarm as the Joint Photographic Expert Group (JPEG) is considering to add DRM support to the JPEG image format. Under the proposal, it would become impossible (or a lot harder) to make copies of copyrighted images you found online, similar to how Adobe Photoshop or the embedded software in your photocopier can identify banknotes and refuses to let you make a copy of it.
EFF attended the group's meeting in Brussels today to tell JPEG committee members why that would be a bad idea. Our presentation explains why cryptographers don't believe that DRM works, points out how DRM can infringe on the user's legal rights over a copyright work (such as fair use and quotation), and warns how it places security researchers at legal risk as well as making standardization more difficult. It doesn't even help to preserve the value of copyright works, since DRM-protected works and devices are less valued by users.
Rather than adding DRM to JPEG, the EFF proposes to figure out a way to enhance the privacy and security features of JPEG via other methods. This includes urging platforms to give users more control over how much of their metadata is revealed when uploading images, thereby allowing to preserve authorship and licensing info, rather than stripping it all out like Facebook and Twitter do today.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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