In early January, photojournalist John D McHugh released Marksta , an iPhone and iPad app created to streamline the process of adding a watermark to their images. Now, the app has been updated to allow the addition of IPTC metadata to these images
"Marksta has been designed originally for people who are shooting photos with their iPhone. But, there are a lot of people who are using the iPhone who don't know about metadata," McHugh tells BJP. "They have no idea that IPTC actually exists. A lot of people don't know that once they make a picture, they immediately own the copyright. The professional photographers, obviously, do and that's why they have been waiting for a good IPTC app."
The app supports the basic IPTC metadata fields - from copyright owner, to description, keywords, dates, and geolocation. Users can create and save several sets of information to apply to their images. Exif data can also be shown, and GPS location can be added and removed using a full-screen map.
"The idea with Marksta has always been to try educate people about copyright," says McHugh. "The idea is that if you put your name on a picture, you start to feel ownership of your work. It's not unnecessarily about monetary return, it's about saying: 'That's my photograph.' A lot of the cases of copyright infringement are not malicious, they are the result of ignorance - the fact that people don't realise that they cannot just right-click and save."
He adds: "Most people will not steal. The music and movie industries have tackled piracy and it has had a big effect, and today, a lot more people are used to paying for music using iTunes, for example. But no one is really fighting for photography."
With Marksta's new version, which is available now, McHugh hopes to get people to "feel emotionally connected to their work," he tells BJP. "And then, I hope that the next time they go to right-click and save somebody's else photograph, perhaps they will think: 'Hang on, that photograph belongs to someone.' I'm not saying that Marksta will change things around, but it's the little things that help make things better."
And while McHugh believes that the IPTC functionality will be used mostly by professional photographers, he hopes that the general public will start considering adding their information as well.
The new update comes a few days after the IPTC released a new study that showed that some of the most popular social networks such as Facebook and Twitter consistently strip the metadata from the images they host.
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