IPTC Challenges Media Vendors to Join-the-Dots on Metadata

Posted on 5/12/2011 by Sarah Saunders | Printable Version | Comments (0)

The IPTC (International Telecommunications Council) is challenging vendors across the media industry to create the conditions for interoperability for metadata embedded in media files.

Following a 2006 Metadata Manifesto issued by the Stock Artists Alliance, the IPTC has created a new updated document the Embedded Metadata Manifesto to cover all media types, including stills and video. The manifesto outlines a set of 5 principles:- Metadata is essential to identify and track digital media
    - Media file formats should provide the means to embed metadata in ways that can be read by all
    - Metadata values and semantics should remain the same across media formats

    - Ownership metadata should never be removed
    - Other metadata should only be removed with permission of the copyright holder
The European picture agency organization CEPIC has joined forces with standards body IPTC to produce the CEPIC/IPTC Metadata Handbook, which will be launched on 20 May 2011 at the CEPIC Congress in Istanbul, Turkey.

The Handbook, commissioned by CEPIC, is a PDF package of documents which includes Image Metadata Planning - a guide for business users, papers on the legal framework for metadata use, quick reference charts on the use of IPTC Core and Extension fields, and an interactive metadata workflow planning tool for selecting IPTC fields for use in various stages of a business workflow.

Paul Brown, Head of the CEPIC Technical Committee said "We commissioned this Handbook to make it easier for our members and other businesses to come to grips with their metadata workflow. The Handbook approaches metadata from a practical business point of view. We are very pleased to be partnering with the IPTC to bring this important subject to our members and to the wider business community."

"Data drives automation and enables companies to manage images profitably," says Sarah Saunders, member of the IPTC Photo Metadata Working Group, who authored the guide. "The Guide to Metadata Planning should be accessible to all business users as well as their technical staff, and we have provided work tools - the charts on use of IPTC fields and the metadata planning chart - to help with the workflow planning process. Together with the Embedded Media Metadata Manifesto newly published by the IPTC we hope that the CEPIC/IPTC Metadata Handbook will form a useful part of the metadata toolkit for businesses handling all kinds of media."

While the stills photography industry has made substantial progress in standardizing data embedded in the image file using the IPTC metadata schema, there is a pressing need for similar levels of interoperability in video.

"Metadata is a key driver for business" says Michael Steidl, Managing Director of the IPTC. "With photographers now shooting video and agencies looking to market cross-media and multi-media products, there is a compelling need for metadata which can be used across stills, video, audio and even text. There are challenges in the video sector, with multiple formats in use, and no widely shared way of embedding data in the media file itself. Nevertheless, we believe the challenge must be taken up by users and vendors in the media business, so that solutions can be found. We will work together with the media industries to build on the work we have done with still images, so all businesses can benefit from clear, unambiguous data."

CEPIC President, Christina Vaughan, CEO of Image Source will give the keynote address at the IPTC Metadata Conference. She said "Our industry is moving fast to incorporate video and audio. We give full support to this IPTC initiative to help CEPIC members and others standardize metadata when exchanging images. The content of the CEPIC Congress reflects exciting new developments in this area, and we are very pleased to provide this opportunity to promote the cooperation needed to drive our business forward."

Copyright © 2011 Sarah Saunders. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Sarah Saunders writes regularly about the stock industry and digital imaging developments. She runs Electric Lane, an image industry consultancy and training company based in the UK. Electric Lane helps businesses of all kinds handle their image workflow from production through to print or digital use. Tel: +44 20 7607 1415, E-mail: fnenu@ryrpgevpynar.pb.hx www.electriclane.co.uk


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