Getty Images to move toward a royalty-free business model, dropping the current “rights-managed” licensing

The reason for the choice is obvious: why people should pay for something that is available for free (on either Unsplash or other online resources)?

The answer is: people won’t because “stock photos” are meant to be “burners”, a quick way to illustrate a presentation, a blog post or a column with no actual intrinsic value.

I just need a picture of a man in powersuit doing business. If the image is good enough, why should I pay for something “more”?

True, photography is now an ubiquitous activity and what previously was a niche job, now is practiced by almost everybody on Earth. But that’s not a bad thing, as it raises the stake for photographers compelling them to produce better and better images.

Getty Images business model’s change is a way to get photography and photographer back to their original place: only great photography deserve to be “respected” and “paid”.

The rest, is just for stock services…

Adobe’s About Face: useless feature or stroke of genius?

The news is not exactly fresh, but has been recently bounced again: Adobe’s Project About Face should make Photoshop able to detect human face editing and revert the image to its pristine condition.

As Adobe states on its website,

This new research is part of a broader effort across Adobe to better detect image, video, audio and document manipulations. Past Adobe research focused on image manipulation detection from splicing, cloning, and removal, whereas this effort focuses on the Face Aware Liquify feature in Photoshop because it’s popular for adjusting facial features, including making adjustments to facial expressions. The feature’s effects can be delicate which made it an intriguing test case for detecting both drastic and subtle alterations to faces.

The first reaction would be something along “who cares? There are plenty of tools to create my deep fakes, so… screw Adobe!” But that would be a rather dull conclusion, as by developing these technologies (assumed that they work properly) Adobe is creating a (big and wide) market niche. Continue reading “Adobe’s About Face: useless feature or stroke of genius?”

Even Thumbs Deserve Privacy

This article published by Il Fatto Quotidiano is illustrated by a photo that portrays a policeman from the mobile team of Rome and an arrested man whose image is blurred. Not, as you might think without seeing it, on the face that also has a winking expression towards the photographer, but on the hand that is shaped in the pose (the thumb raised) universally become synonymous with “I like it”.

The expression of the arrested subject is disturbing because it is no different from that of a star crossing the red carpet of a film festival or a sports champion celebrating a victory. And it reinforces the mistaken perception – further distorted by television series such as Narcos and Gomorrah – that there is an aesthetic of evil in the name of which, by committing atrocious acts, one can become famous.

This “right thumb” attached to the hand of an ordinary person accused of a crime obviously means that from the desire for a “moment of glory” experienced in film/television fiction we have moved on to the lust of a celebrity at all costs, including that of becoming a protagonist of a crime story.

I don’t know who (whether the photographer or the newspaper) has made the choice to blur the anatomical detail of the arrested, but in both cases I can’t find a reasonable explanation, except for the one that, by now, even the thumbs have a right to their privacy.

Putting people in social cages since when they are kids

Retouching  8 years old  school photography as a service?

There is nothing wrong in having a spot on the chin, a pale look or other somatic peculiarities. We are how we are. Full stop.

Of course, everybody has the right to self-retouch his appearance (what does aesthetic-surgery is for?) but that should be a personal (and non-questionable) choice.

In contrast, supporting the idea that a kid’s photo should be photoshopped to have him look better is just plain wrong. It inculcates into kids’ minds that they have something “wrong” and, therefore, that they ARE “wrong”.

Leave kids shine for the beauty of their age, and leave photoretouching, make up and surgery to “growth” adults who forgot what really matter.

Light Spam is not a criminal offense says the Italian Supreme Court

The Italian Supreme Court – III criminal branch ruled that “light spam” is not a criminal offense under both the pre and post GDPR enforcement in Italy.

Section 167 of the Italian Data Protection Code holds as a criminal offense the illegal processing of personal data when the processing is carried on by causing “nocumento” (a legal concept different from “damage”, “tort” or “threat”, that is related to the causation of an infringement of the personal or financial sphere of the individual ). So, for somebody to be charged of this criminal offense, the sole element of unauthorized processing is not enough. Continue reading “Light Spam is not a criminal offense says the Italian Supreme Court”