Category Archives: What’s Really Important

DAM Book 3.0 Status

We’ve had a number of requests for a status report on The DAM Book 3.0 . Our original intention was to publish the book in electronic form by the end of July. Unfortunately, as they say, life gets in the way.

Dot Krogh
Photo of Dot Krogh by Paul Krogh.

People who follow me on Facebook know that my mother died suddenly in May. Since that time, I’ve had to turn my attention to family matters. I’ve had to put a number of projects temporarily on hold to concentrate on planning, details and simply spending time with my family. Those who have gone through this know what I’m talking about.

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In the last few months, I’ve been focused on these people. 

I’ve been hesitant to write about this for a couple reasons. First, it’s a family matter, and second, I have not been able to announce a new delivery date. While I’m still not able to provide any dates, I know it’s important for me to break radio silence. So that’s what I’m doing.

As my daughters head off to college this week, I’ll turn my attention back to completing the book.  I’m hoping that within a few weeks I’ll be able to provide a good estimate on a completion date. Much has been done, but much remains to be done.

Thanks to everyone for their patience, and for the many kind words of encouragement over the last few months.

The other shoe dropping

Late breaking news: Facebook has delayed the implementation of the new policy. Send your comments to Facebook today. Link at the bottom of this post.
Facebook has just claimed the right to use or sell your identity, your content and your data without limit. They have nuked their own privacy policy, removing the right for you to keep anything private.   This takes the suckiness of the Instagram contract and adds even more suck by explicitly making you agree that everything they know about you is for sale, and that you have no right to keep any of it private. The new terms are set to take effect next Thursday.

ReallFcebookYou can find the proposed document here.

 

Facebook has asked for comments. They can be posted here.

 


Here’s the most important language (strikethrough indicates language that is being removed. Bold text is used to indicate the new additions).

You can use your privacy settings to limit how your name and profile picture may be associated with commercial, sponsored, or related content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us. You give us permission to use your name, and profile picture, content, and information in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related that content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us, subject to the limits you place. This means, for example, that you permit a business or other entity to pay us to display your name and/or profile picture with your content or information, without any compensation to you. If you have selected a specific audience for your content or information, we will respect your choice when we use it.


The Section-by-Section Summary of Updates takes pains to claim that Facebook has the right to collect and make use of data that it finds “when you are using Fcebook or when Facebook is running.” This probably gives Facebook a license to collect, use, share and sell most of your web browsing (unless you are running software to block cookies) and much of what your mobile phone is gathering, such as your location, phone calls, etc.

They are already collecting a lot of this information. The screenshot below is from my Facebook feed a few hours after I did a search for a hotel in Reston on a totally unrelated site. Facebook is already collecting, using and selling this kind of information. They are now asking for irrevokable permission to continue, and to add your photos to the mix.

130829_Facebook

As with the Instagram Terms of Use, I believe that Facebook is asking for open-ended permission here that does not serve the needs of users. This is an overly broad agreement that shifts the control over a person or company’s content and identity too far into the hands of Facebook.

I’ll be deleting the mobile application off my phone because I’m uncomfortable with the amount of data it gives to the company. I’ll have to think about any additional action depending on how the company responds to the comments.

The Instagram Papers

DAM Useful Publishing and ASMP have just released The Instagram Papers, a collection of essays about the current Instagram Terms of Use, and the rights that they give the company.  The company claims a right to do nearly anything with the photos and videos uploaded to the service, including to sell them, forever.

TheRightToTerminate

In response, we have put out an open call for a meaningful right to terminate social media contracts. We believe that the right to sublicense your photos and identity should be something you can revoke, if the company’s practices become objectionable.

Over the next few months, ASMP will be working with other organizations to advocate for this basic contractual right. If you are interested in lending your name or your organization’s name to the effort, you can contact me here.

Here’s a link to the complete papers, which are available for free download and distribution.

 

 

16 Years of Seven Cousins

If you’ve ever been to my house, you know what the image below represents. This morning, I shot the 16th installment of the Seven Cousins picture. Every year, sometime between spring and fall, my kids and my siblings kids all gather in Cascade, MD and make another image in this series. For the last two years, there has been exactly one day in the year when each of the cousins and I have been available to make the photo.

Krogh_130612_0293

This year was the first time I actually appeared in the photo (thank you Josie for making that suggestion).  It’s been one of my favorite projects to work on – a way to mark time, a visible record of our family, a collaboration between these great kids and me.

My longtime quest to preserve photographs is directly linked to the value I see in documents like this. These photos are incredibly meaningful to me, and I hope that the kids will come to value them as much as I do.

Thanks guys, for making it happen once again this year.

Krogh_130612_0348

SOPA and PIPA

Here’s a simplified outline of the problems, as I understand it.

The bill seeks to let the government create a naughty list. If you are on the naughty list, or if you link to content hosted by someone on the naughty list, then your whole website can be shut down. The government will block the site by closing the series of tubes that make up the internet.

There are two big problems with this.
1. The first is that the list is not created by standard court proceedings.
2. The second is that the machinery to enforce the naughty list totally screws up internet addressing and security, and is not workable.

Getting on the naughty list
In order to get someone placed on the naughty list, you do not have to sue the accused. You don’t have to  provide proof that you own the content that is being infringed. And the accused does not have conventional rights to challenge the blacklisting: to present an argument that they also might have rights to the content.

This is, as I understand it, injunctive relief. This is normally used for some kind of emergency action by the court. The bill creates a perpetual state of emergency where lots of action would be be taken outside of conventional legal channels.

Any site that allows users to post content is at risk of being shut down, so the naughty list can expand like crazy.

And don’t hold out much hope that photographers and other independent creators can get nbc.com or capitorecords.com or universalpictures.com put on the naughty list simply because they violate *your* copyright. This is a hammer built for the interests of big media.

Breaking DNS
While #1 is a big problem, the bigger problem is the mechanism that the bill proposes to enforce the naughty list. In order to block a website, you need to make sure that no request to see that website (take me to www.Amazon.com) actually goes to Amazon.com.

In order to accomplish the blocking, you need to break a fundamental part of the DNS system (the thing that makes sure that you are at the real Amazon.com). This is not really possible, since there are so darn many tubes.

The official DNS list is sent to all ISPs worldwide, so that requests for websites can be routed properly. SOPA and PIPA want the US government to be able to edit the list used in the US, removing sites that are deemed – outside of a traditional court – to be in violation.This breaks the integrity of the DNS system in a fundamental way.

At best, we could be like China, and block access to naughty sites for web surfers that are located within US borders. But circumventing that is pretty trivial. Millions of foreign portals will spring up that will let you access the real DNS list that the rest of the world uses. Once you go through that portal, you are in a world where all websites could be easily spoofed, since you are outside of the (formerly) standard DNS system.

Once you break the universality of the DNS list, you totally screw up security for nearly everyone. And policing that is a never-ending game of whack-a-mole.

But aren’t you in favor of copyright?

I say all of the above in the context of an independent creator – photographer, author, videographer.  Yes, I am infringed every day by companies and individuals and websites in all kinds of ways, including offering free copies of my book to paying members. And I believe that this is a big problem for people like me. I don’t know what the real solution is, but I can definitely see what the solution is not.

Hopefully this thing is dead. Congress is learning that you don’t want to get the internets mad at you.

Thank you, Richard Anderson

As of July 2011, Richard Anderson completed his term as director of the dpBestflow project, and as the chair of ASMP’s Digital Standards and Practices Committee.  This closes a six year chapter of working selflessly and tirelessly on behalf of his fellow photographer.

Richard took over the helm of ASMP’s Digital Standards and Practices Committee in 2005, and became principle author and chair of UPDIG. During his tenure there, he oversaw the production of 5 versions of the best practice document. The UPDIG document represented the best consensus on the technical facets of digital photography for publication, and was instrumental in helping to spread good technical understanding worldwide.

Continue reading Thank you, Richard Anderson

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Editor’s Note: This post was created more than a year ago, and was lost to a blog hack.  Thanks to John Beardsworth for helping to sort out the hack, as well as a more recent one that we’ve been battling for the last month of so. The recent July 4th holiday has prompted me to bring it back out.


Every now and then, I get to work on a project that I’m really proud of – something that is really important.  I consider the virtual Vietnam Veterans Memorial to be one of the best. I was commissioned by Footnote.com to make a digital representation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. They wanted to provide a way for everyone to experience the power of the wall, regardless of their ability to travel to Washington. And they wanted to let visitors leave behind comments and photos, in the same way visitors do at the real wall.


When you click on the name of any person on the wall, you get some information about that person, age, hometown, rank, cause of death. You also get the opportunity to upload comments or photos to the record of that person. In this way the wall becomes more than just a list of 58,000 names – it becomes a record of 58,000 individuals. The tragedy of war, and the depth of the sacrifice of the individual soldier is made all the more real when you see the comments of family, friends, and comrades left behind.

Tips on navigating the site and more on the project after the jump.

Continue reading Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Lunch with Luffe

I was in Copenhagen today finishing my visit here. I’ve been staying with my friends Jens and Dodo, which has been very relaxed and fun.  Today I had a great meeting with Phase One, discussing the future of Expression Media.  I’m happy to report that the team there seems to be on the right track, and has a great understanding of the user landscape, technical issues, and what matters to photographers.

But the real highlight of the day was lunch with my 95-year-old friend Luffe Baggesen.  He’s been a friend of the family since 1948, when he came to America to train with my grandfather and be chastised by my great grandmother for smoking his cigars. Luffe has always been a free spirit and a true delight  He has an unmatched joie de vivre, and he takes great pleasure letting the air out of anything he thinks is too self-important.

Jens I and brought the smørrebrød and Tuborg, and Luffe brought out the Akvavit. It was a most excellent lunch.  Not only did we hear some great old stories from the past, but Luffe told us what he’s been up to recently (visiting west Africa), and what he’s scheduled for (making a presentation at the Karen Blixen house about her – they were friends.)  We also pulled out some old photo albums and I made a few copy photographs, including this one from 1951, inscribed by my grandfather. Luffe is the second from the left, and that’s Harold Krogh in the striped suit. Jens’s mother and father are just to the right of my grandfather.

I plan to be back in Copenhagen in 2016 for Luffe’s 100th birthday.