Media Release

IPTC tests how well inexpensive software performs in tagging images with rights information

Release of 28 August 2014

LONDON (England) — People return from their holidays with many photos and want to share them, others want to use such shared photos. To help them find the right software for embedding their own rights data into an image file or to retrieve them from a photo by a potential user,  IPTC has tested 19 free or inexpensive programs. The results – published at on Thursday, 28 August 2014 – look promising, as half of the tested programs support photographers sharing their pictures well, while two out of three programs help the user to retrieve embedded rights data. Unfortunately two of  the programs tested don’t support rights metadata at all.

Using photos without the permission of the owner is a widely discussed issue and not only professionals go to court to protect their copyright. Copyright law in virtually all countries requires that people check image rights before using an image publicly and to comply with any restrictions. In some countries there is a specific requirement to check for rights data, including embedded data. However, you need software tools to embed and read rights data to meet these requirements.

The International Press Telecommunications Council – the organisation behind the widely-used IPTC photo metadata standard – has tested some of the software most commonly available to amateur photographers, to find out how effective different tools are in writing, editing and reading rights data in an image. The programs are available either for free or are sold at a price below about 150 US Dollar, Euro or British Pound and run mainly on Windows or Mac computers (a few even run on smartphones or tablets).

About IPTC:

The IPTC, based in London, brings together the world’s leading news agencies, publishers and industry vendors. It develops and promotes efficient technical standards to improve the management and exchange of information between content providers, intermediaries and consumers. The standards enable easy, cost-effective and rapid innovation and include the  Photo Metadata standard, the news exchange formats NewsML-G2, SportsML-G2 and NITF, rNews for marking up online news, the rights expression language RightsML, and NewsCodes taxonomies for categorizing news. Visit the web site or follow @IPTC on Twitter.